Reuters International

BERLIN (Reuters) - It is far too early to discuss a lifting of sanctions against Russia for its intervention in Ukraine, a top adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

"I think the discussion about lifting of sanctions has come far too early," foreign policy adviser Christoph Heusgen said at a German Marshall Fund event in Berlin. "We are not anywhere close to having Minsk implemented."

Based on the current situation in eastern Ukraine, Heusgen added, it was hard to envision a situation where sanctions were not extended for another half year when they expire in July.

(Reporting by Noah Barkin; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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