Keeping the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions in place is absurd, told the veteran French politician and former senator Aymeri de Montesquiou d’Artagnan on Thursday.
“The sanctions against Russia are damaging the French economy and, in the first place, the agricultural sector,” said the politician who represented France’s mostly agrarian department of Gers in the National Assembly and in the Senate for three decades.
Preliminary expert assessments suggest the losses of the farming sector as a result of EU sanctions against Russia stand at around 800 million euro. “It’s absurd to maintain these sanctions,” D’Artagnan said.
He indicated that both houses of the French parliament had spoken in favor of scaling down the restrictive measures targeting Russia. The lower house issued an appropriate resolution at the end of April and the Senate took the same step on Wednesday.
In the Senate, the motion to call for the lifting of the sanctions rallied support of members of all the party caucuses.
“I fully agree with the recommendations of the members of parliament, who showed willingness for dialogue with Russia,” D’Artagnan said. “I hope the executive branch of power will heed the lawmakers’ position and will bring it to the attention of European partners.
By speaking for the lifting of sanctions, the French legislators answer the moods of their voters, he believes.
“Interest to partnership with Russia is huge,” D’Artagnan said. “For instance, people in the southwestern department of Gers I represent would like to develop cooperation with southern Russian regions as broadly as possible, including cooperation in the agrarian sphere”.