On June 28-29, a European Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union will be held in Brussels in the buildings of the Council of the European Union. The French Senate voted Wednesday in favor of a resolution calling on Paris to ease sanctions against Russia ahead of the EU summit. Yves Pozzo di Borgo, the author of the document, expressed hope that it would encourage EU heads to reconsider the sanctions.
“The European Council in March 2015 agreed that the sanctions duration remain clearly linked to Russia’s complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. This approach will of course need to be re-confirmed by all EU Member States in the coming weeks, but my understanding is that nobody would object to another rollover of our economic sanctions. It is even unlikely that a discussion between EU leaders will be necessary,” the source said, answering a question whether the issue of easing anti-Russian sanctions would be on the summit’s agenda in light of the French vote.
The French resolution was passed by overwhelming majority, as 302 lawmakers supported the resolution and 16 senators opposed. The National Assembly, France’s lower house of parliament, adopted a similar resolution in April.
The United States, the European Union and some of their allies have imposed several rounds of sanctions targeting key sectors of the Russian economy, as well as a number of individuals and entities since 2014, over Crimea’s reunification with Russia and accusations of Moscow’s alleged interference in the Ukrainian conflict.
Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations, stating that Moscow does not take part in the Ukrainian conflict and warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability. In response to the restrictive measures, Russia has imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.