Help Ukraine instead of imposing sanctions against Russia - former IMF chief

The former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has called on the West to focus more on helping Ukraine rather than on sanctions against Russia.

The former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has called on the West to focus more on helping Ukraine rather than on sanctions against Russia.

"We need to help Ukraine grow, get through its problem of sovereign debt. This is far more important that finding new sanctions against Russia," he told the eleventh forum of the Yalta European Strategy (YES) in Kyiv on Friday.

He admitted that the sanctions have been effective and had already started to have an impact on the situation in the Russian economy and that over time this impact will only grow. "But I think, it is unlikely that anything will change in Russia's behavior (after the sanctions) for internal political reasons," said the former IMF chief.

The more the West insists on sanctions, the more Russia's ties with China will grow, he added. "There is nothing bad about it but this should be taken into account," Strauss-Kahn said.

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