France is keen to develop trade ties with Russia and China amid increasing uncertainty in relations with the US and UK, French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
"We are moving from a world dominated by very exclusive trans-Atlantic relations towards a rebalancing," Le Maire said, during a two-day trip to Moscow in December.
France wants to create a trade "backbone" stretching from Europe via Moscow to Beijing, the minister revealed. He also criticized the US threat of "extraterritorial sanctions," with which Washington tries to pressure foreign companies with operations in the US into forgoing business in Russia.
Extraterritorial sanctions would make the US "the de facto gendarme of global trade," Mr Le Maire warned.
"That is contrary to our vision of a multilateral global organization," he warned.
The minister also expressed hope that anti-Russian sanctions will be lifted, and normal Franco-Russian trade relations will resume.
"The conditions are not met for us to lift or alleviate sanctions, but I hope —I really hope- that it will evolve," Mr Le Maire declared.