French lawmaker Thierry Mariani drafted a resolution that aims to lift anti-Russian sanctions and plans to present the document in the French National Assembly at the end of April.
Mariani, a prominent member of the center-right political party The Republicans, is a strong believer that sanctions against Russia have hurt the French economy and damaged Russo-French relations. To fix this, Mariani, came up with the draft version of the resolution #3585, which he will officially put forward to French lawmakers on April 28.
The voting on the resolution at the end of the month will show the true stance of lawmakers at the French parliament. According to Mariani, many French politicians, both from the left and the right of the political spectrum, understand that anti-Russian sanctions are ineffective and hurt the French economy.
“Today, everyone says that sanctions need to be cancelled. Now the National Assembly would express its opinion for the first time. Personally I think, whether you support the right or the left, you must defend the interests of France,” Mariani told Sputnik in an interview.
The proposal would be the first time since the French National Assembly officially debated on this subject since the anti-Russian sanctions were imposed in 2014.
If French lawmakers end up adopting the document, the French government would push the idea of ending anti-Russian sanctions on the EU-level.
In the past there were numerous reports that sanctions in fact hurt European economies. When the EU imposed anti-Russian sanctions, Moscow introduced a food embargo in response to Western measures. As a result, European agro-businesses ended up losing a large chunk of their profits without access to the huge Russian market.
“In 2014, the export of goods from the EU to Russia decreased by 12.1 percent and imports by 13.5 percent. Since the beginning of 2015, trade between France and Russia fell by 40 percent, in particular due to the cancellation of the Mistral deal… The food embargo imposed by Russia in response to sanctions has taken a heavy toll on agriculture and the French agro-industrial complex,” the resolution #3585 said.
Thus, according to the resolution, if anti-Russian sanctions won’t be lifted, French companies lose more than Russia, because Moscow is already working on finding new business partners and developing its domestic agricultural sector.
Furthermore, since Western sanctions also banned a number of high-ranking Russian politicians, they damage political ties between Moscow and Paris.
For example, if France wants to effectively work with Russia on the issue of international terrorism, sanctions need to go, the document said. Paris can’t expect to successfully fight Daesh in the Middle East without cooperation with Moscow.