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    Removing Sanctions Would Give France 'Breath of Fresh Air'

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    Some of the 1,200 French companies working in Russia have complained that sanctions have caused difficulties, while Russia's counter-sanctions hit France's economy, a French legislator said.

    France must lift the sanctions against Russia as French agriculture has suffered greatly because of them, according to Guillaume Chevrollier, a legislator at the National Assembly of France.

    Chevrolet was among the delegation of French deputies, headed by a member of the French National Assembly Committee on Foreign Affairs, co-chairman of the Franco-Russian dialogue Association Thierry Mariani, who on December 17 in Moscow, met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

    "The [Russian counter-sanctions] embargo has done considerable damage to French agriculture, particularly for the Mayenne. It affects the economy. The lifting of sanctions would be a breath of fresh air to France, its agriculture and the European economy,"the deputy said in an interview with Ouest France.

    According to Chevrollier, the sanctions have been damaging for France's employment and agriculture.

    "There are 1,200 French companies located in Russia. Some have told us of their difficulties. The embargo destroyed jobs in France. We demand a debate in the National Assembly, on the lifting of economic sanctions against Russia. We impose European sanctions on the Russians and asked them to participate in the fight against the Islamic state: there is a contradiction that must be lifted," he added.

    Groups of French farmers staged protests across the country during the past summer and fall, stating that the food ban imposed by Russia in response to Western sanctions was one of the main reasons behind the agricultural crisis in Europe.

    In August of 2014, Russia issued a one-year ban on the import of food from the EU, the United States and some other Western countries in response to anti-Russian sanctions imposed against it over the Ukrainian crisis.

    At that time, Russia was the EU's second-biggest market for food exports. The list of products includes meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.

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    European Union, agricultural, economy, sanctions, Guillaume Chevrollier, Russia, France
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