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    French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault poses in his office at the Quai d'Orsay ministry in Paris, France, April 26, 2016

    France Seeks End to Russia Sanctions But Needs Signal From Moscow

    © REUTERS / Philippe Wojazer
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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)

    France is committed to a gradual end to sanctions imposed on Russia, but it first needs a signal that Moscow is not committed to the status quo in Ukraine, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told guests at a forum sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The European Union recently agreed to extend sanctions against Russia for six months.

    "When I went to Moscow, I said to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, ‘If you want this, it’s easy. If you go forward you will see we will open the way to a possible, gradual lifting of sanctions.’ Why not?" Ayrault stated on Thursday.

    Ayrault, speaking through an interpreter, said he often questions which nation — Russia or Ukraine — is responsible for maintaining what he called the status-quo.

    The extension, Ayrault explained, came when the EU member states realized that "nothing had changed enough to lift the sanctions."

    The foreign minister concluded by saying that France is always ready to dialogue with Russia how to end the sanctions.

    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)


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