PARIS, October 21 (RIA Novosti) – CEO of French energy company Total, Christophe de Margerie, spoke against western sanctions imposed on Russia in his last public address made before dying in a plane crash in Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on Monday.
"We are against sanctions, in general. I have said it time and again. You have heard it. And I have not made myself very popular in my own country, as I am often accused of promoting our selfish interest," de Margerie told the Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC) in Moscow, noting that he was speaking both on behalf of Total and the Franco-Russian Business Council, which he co-chaired together with Gennady Timchenko.
"Russia has many friends and partners in the West. We don't consider that Russia can be isolated from the major global economic and political process. I'm absolutely confident that the policy of openness, which helped us overcome so many obstacles together in the past, should be continued," de Margerie added.
According to Total's CEO the western sanctions are "unfair and unproductive" and hurt businesses that are supposed to be "a channel for dialogue and a way of improving mutual understanding" but are now "held hostage by politics".
De Margerie stressed that "political issues require political solutions" and that "it is a failure of diplomacy, when the only tools left are sanctions".
De Margerie died late Monday night when his private jet, headed for Paris, crashed in the Vnukovo-3 Airport in Moscow after hitting a snowplow during takeoff. The Total CEO had always defended Russia, after the West started accusing Moscow of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs, hitting it with multiple rounds of economic sanctions.
Total is France's second-largest listed company and one of the top foreign investors in Russia.