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French Parliamentarian: 'We Need to Lift Anti-Russian Sanctions and Punish Ukraine'

Prior to the forthcoming EU summit, the French government may face a pro-Russian rebellion in both chambers of Parliament


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- Mr. Mariani, at the end of April your anti-sanctions resolution was accepted by the French National Assembly (the lower chamber of parliament). What can you say about the document  to be voted by your colleagues in the Senate – Yves Pozzo di Borgo and Simon Sutour – on June 8?

-First of all, this is very good news. A document similar to the resolution I initiated in the National Assembly will be reviewed in the upper chamber in six days. I would like to congratulate Mr di Borgo, who I know well – last year he came to the Crimea with us; and he has also visited Russia several times.

<figcaption>Thierry Mariani steared the resolution calling on the government to lift anti-Russian sanctions through the lower chamber of French Parliament. Now he believes it is Kiev that should be punished for ignoring the Minsk-II agreements.</figcaption>
Thierry Mariani steared the resolution calling on the government to lift anti-Russian sanctions through the lower chamber of French Parliament. Now he believes it is Kiev that should be punished for ignoring the Minsk-II agreements.

The vote in the Senate will be very interesting. Like my own, it is also advisory, the government has a right to do whatever it wants. However, if both chambers vote against the prolongation of the sanctions, I would be shocked, if the government didn’t take that into account.

You are aware of the official position of France: that the restrictive measures facilitate the observance of the Minsk Accords. But what do we see? The Verkhovna Rada hasn’t still carried out any of the reforms called for in ‘Minsk II’.

Come to think of it, we need two decisions: We need to remove the anti-Russian sanctions, and introduce sanctions against the Ukraine. Kiev is being disrespectful by not observing the Minsk Accords, and it’s the Ukrainian parliament that is mainly responsible.

— What are the odds that the Senate will accept the resolution on June 8?

— There are high chances that it will pass.  

— Nevertheless, the French government still has a right to continue pursuing its official policy?

— Of course, it’s not a law, but it sends a signal the government. According to the Constitution, the government’s policy can be different from the parliament’s. However, France proclaims that we mustn’t violate human rights and that the people should be heard. I can’t imagine that if the National Assembly and the Senate accept the resolution, the government would not act accordingly.

— The EU summit will be held in the Brussels on June 28-29, and it will discuss the automatic prolongation of the sanctions. Several countries have already spoken against that. What position is Paris taking?

— I don’t know what our official position will be. First, we need to wait for the results of the vote in the Senate, and then we will see whether the government changes its position. I think it will be clear on June 8 what we can expect in Brussels.



Source: Izvestia
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