On January 22, John Kerry said the sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis might be lifted within the next few months if the Minsk agreements were fulfilled. Two days later, French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry Emmanuel Macron expressed hope that the anti-Russia sanctions would be lifted this summer.
"In fact, this statement is not surprising since French diplomacy for nearly 10 years, systematically follows that of the United States and that the US Secretary of State John Kerry announced the same measures, almost word in word," Marie-Christine Arnautu stated.
The Western sanctions, which were conceived to inflict damage on the Russian economy, have delivered a severe blow to France itself, the French politician noted.
"This position shows that once again the National Front was right from the start by denouncing the sanctions that could only harm the French economy. It is the farmers who have paid the highest price with the predictable response of the Russian government: the embargo on European agricultural products, which has led to the collapse of the price of many products," Arnautu stressed.
Relations between Russia and the European Union member states, including France, went downhill in 2014, when Brussels joined Washington in accusing Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis and imposed several rounds of sanctions as a punitive measure.
The Russian authorities have refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive. In response to the Western restrictive measures, in August 2014, Russia announced a one-year food embargo on some products originating in states that imposed sanctions against it. The ban has since been extended for another year.