The lifting of sanctions from the Russian Federation before the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Donbass and the de-occupation of Crimea threatens to intensify the Kremlin’s aggressive policy towards neighboring states, and at the same time the West should impose new sanctions against Russian officials involved in the information war.

“Sanctions were imposed to pressure the Russian government with the aim of withdrawing their troops from Ukraine and stopping the illegal occupation of Crimea. The early lifting of sanctions, without achieving the set goals, has long-term consequences and may stimulate Putin to intensify aggressive actions against neighboring states.

Such a scenario, taking into account Putin’s downgrade, should be a matter of serious concern to Western states which are considering premature lifting of sanctions from the Russian Federation” – said Markus Kolga, the McDonald-Larier Institute analyst.

The West must maintain existing sanctions and impose new ones against Russian officials involved in human rights violations, information warfare and anti-Western propaganda.