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    French Politician: Russian Countersteps Against Western Sanctions Not Surprising

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    The Russian countermeasures against the countries that have targeted Moscow with sanctions are disappointing but not surprising, a co-president of the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "I think it [the Russian response to the foreign restrictions] is proportional. The principle is normal. There are sanctions from America and Europe against Russia. If there is no answer from Russia it will be a great surprise… of course I am disappointed by these [Russian] countersanctions but I think it is normal," Thierry Mariani, who is also a member of the French center-right party The Republicans, said on the sidelines of the "Development of Parliamentarism" international forum in Moscow.

    The politician added that he could not understand the French policy on the issues related to sanctions adding that the European Union should prove that it could be independent from the United States.

    Commenting on the recent decision of US President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Mariani said that Europe should respond to this policy with countersteps or Washington would continue introduction of measures targeting the European economy.

    "I don’t judge America. America defends its own interests. I can’t blame them, I can blame the government that doesn’t defend the same interests. If we don’t have strong answer to these measures of America [then] America will continue," the politician said.

    On May 22, the Russian lower house passed a bill, which stipulates possible introduction of countersanctions in response to hostile actions against Russia by the United States and its allies.

    In 2014, relations between Russia and the West deteriorated over Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and Crimea's reunification with Russia following a referendum.

    The United States and the European Union imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia's energy, banking, defense and other sectors, as well as on a number of Russian officials. Moscow responded with countermeasures against the Western countries that targeted it with sanctions.

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    economy, response, countermeasures, sanctions, Thierry Mariani, France, EU, Russia
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