03:25 GMT +319 September 2019
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    EU Should Stop Policy of Sanctions, 'Get Russia Back to the European Family'

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    The European Union is deepening tensions over security with Moscow, instead of establishing real dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin, French journalist Renaud Girard wrote in an article for the French newspaper Le Figaro.

    At their upcoming session on October 20-21, the European Council will discuss  relations with Russia, possibly bringing new sanctions against Moscow.

    Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel already said that the EU may tighten anti-Russian sanctions. The author stressed that Paris should conduct an independent policy towards Russia because the European policy of anti-Russian sanctions is "counterproductive."

    "European trade sanctions have backfired at our industrial and agricultural producers. They have poisoned our relations with Russia. At the same time, they have proved ineffective to change the Kremlin’s stance on the Ukrainian crisis," the article read.

    Currently, relations between Russia and the West are in a deep crisis.

    According to Girard, Moscow believes that "there are conspiracies and invasion plans in the making" against Russia. NATO’s actions only aggravate Russia’s "paranoia" over security issues.

    The strategy of the EU and US aims to "contain" Russia, but in fact it leads to opposite results, according to Girard.

    "We are in a vicious circle now. By boosting defense at the borders, Russia responds to the threats it considers existing. In response, the West imposes sanctions and deploys military forces but this only aggravates the situation," he wrote.

    Meanwhile, Russia is a Western country, Girard wrote. The West needs Russia to be on its side in the hypothetical standoff with China. Moreover, Moscow plays a key role in the Middle East where the Russian military is fighting terrorism.

    "The war in Syria cannot be stopped without Russian involvement," the journalist stressed.

    "We condemn Russia’s engagement in Syria, but without it the country would be taken by Islamists in September 2015," he wrote.

    According to Girard, Russia should be "brought back to the European family."

    This requires dialogue with Moscow. Both Europe and Russia should designate their key interests and look for common points. In addition, the West should remember that Russia’s geopolitical ambitions have reasonable grounds, he concluded.

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    Tags:
    dialogue, tensions, sanctions, European Union, Russia
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