Sanctions against the Russian Federation must be extended if Russian troops remain in Ukrainian territory, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said.
"If the Minsk agreements are not followed, Russian soldiers remain on the territory of Ukraine and observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe do not have access to the occupied territories, if there is no cessation of fire and withdrawal of heavy weapons, if [Russians] continue to kill Ukrainians … then sanctions must remain," Poroshenko said following talks with Swedish Premier Stefan Löfven on Monday in Stockholm.
Ukraine's head of state also said Ukraine has recommended the European Union extend sanctions for 12 months, not six months, next year.
"I think it will be effective if sanctions are extended not for six months, but for a full year. We have already conveyed this recommendation to our EU partners," Poroshenko said.
He added that sanctions must be in place until Russia complies with the Minsk agreements.
Responding to a question on extending sanctions following the U.S. presidential elections, Poroshenko said, "These sanctions are connected with the Minsk agreements."
"Ukraine received substantive support from the U.S.: there were clear statements from both the Republican and Democratic parties to the effect that the only reason for lifting the sanctions is the full observance of the Minsk agreements, the withdrawal of forces and restoration of control of the Ukrainian border," Poroshenko said.