West Not Planning to Force Russia to Return Crimea – European Politician
Western countries are not planning to force Moscow to return Crimea because that would only be possible with the use of military force, and no one is interested in a military confrontation, European politician Günter Verheugen told Deutsche Welle.

Europe may lift sanctions against Russia once a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine is achieved, former European Commissioner Günter Verheugen said, adding that Western politicians are unlikely to link the withdrawal of sanctions and the Crimea issue.
In response to the question of whether the EU will abolish sanctions if Crimea continues to remain a part of Russia, Verheugen said he did not have the impression that European governments connect the normalization of relations with Russia with Crimea.

"Probably, Western politicians are not going to force Moscow to return Crimea, because it is clear that this is only possible with the use of military force. And since nobody wants military intervention, the situation is clear enough," Verheugen said.

According to the politician, promotion of the idea of a transatlantic free trade zone does not contradict a simultaneous discussion about a free trade zone between the EU and Russia.
“Russia is an important and strong partner. Russia is an integral part of Europe,” Verheugen said.

“We need Russia as an economic partner, as a partner in addressing global challenges. Yes, we need Russia. But Russia also needs us.”

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