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    French President Francois Hollande stands in the entrance of the Elysee Palace following the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, France, March 2, 2016.

    French Gov't Must Decide on Lifting Sanctions Against Russia After Vote

    © AFP 2019 / Philippe Wojazer
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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)
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    The outcome of the French National Assembly's vote to lift economic sanctions against Russia means the government will now have to discuss the issue within the next few weeks, a member of the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, the French National Assembly passed a resolution to lift sanctions against Russia. Out of the 101 lawmakers, 55 voted in favor of the resolution. The resolution is not legally binding.

    Adoption of the resolution on the lifting of sanctions against Russia. Voting: 101. Majority: 50. In Favor: 55. Against: 44. 2 Abstained.

    "I was surprised with the outcome. In fact, many members of the parliament who are friends of Russia came today to support the resolution," Thierry Mariani said in English.

    He said the government now must voice its position.

    "France's vote on the matter is clear. It is against the sanctions and now the government needs to meet within weeks to discuss sanctions against Russia," he said.

    Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated amid the 2014 crisis in Ukraine. The European Union, the United States and their allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russian sanctions since the reunification of Crimea with Russia in 2014, accusing Moscow of meddling in the Ukrainian conflict, a claim Russian authorities have repeatedly denied.

    Washington and Brussels imposed sanctions against Russian individuals and the Russian defense, energy and banking sectors in July 2014. Russia responded by introducing a year-long food embargo on imports from the United States, the European Union and other countries that targeted Russia, subsequently extending the current embargo until August 5, 2016.

    The EU leaders summit is scheduled for June 28-29. Extending the EU economic sanctions against Russia, which are due to expire in July, is likely to be on the summit's agenda.

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)

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    anti-Russian sanctions, French National Assembly, Thierry Mariani, France, Russia
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