FAKING IT: French FM Says Nothing to Talk About but Wants a 'Discussion' on Russia Sanctions Anyway
You just said there's nothing to talk about!
Talk about great minds. The French minister of foreign affairs says it's totally out of the question that EU's "Russia sanctions" would be lifted but nonetheless does not want the sanctions to be rolled over automatically, but for instead to be a debate about it:
Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said it was out of the question to lift the sanctions as long as Russia fails to help implement the ceasefire accords in Ukraine, which were signed in Minsk in February 2015.
At the same time, the 28-nation bloc could not simply keep renewing the sanctions automatically without proper discussion, he added, on the sidelines of an EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.
“The conditions for ending the sanctions are not in place since the Minsk accords are neither respected nor implemented,” Ayrault said.
“What I want is that at the next EU leaders summit (on June 28-29) … we are not just satisfied with the automatic six-month rollover of the sanctions but that there is a real debate,” he said.
Do you get the point? What he wants is an appearance of an actual debate. Something to make the meeting of the upcoming EU summit look like something other than the meeting of the rubber stamp committee for the Brussels group think that it really is.
The French minister knows what the score is the Russia sanctions -- which limit how much business EU Europeans can do with Russians -- isn't a vote-winner. EU businesses hurt by it far outnumber the ideologues who welcome it.
Thus the need for the kabuki theater of pretended discussion between leaders of EU states when they meet next week.
So there you go EUropeans. You certainly won't get a proper public debate on "Russia sanctions". You won't even get a real debate between your leaders. But you will get an affected "discussion" between your politicians.
That's their concession to you.