"Regarding Crimea, there is a situation where there is a certain community that has frozen the decision-making process. And instead of saying what we can do to improve the situation, people's lives, boost interaction, they block everything in a way that does not make sense," Jean-Paul Carteron said.
According to Carteron, the main problem with Crimea is Western diplomats’ complete inability to resolve the crisis and preference to resort to sanctions rather than searching for a solution.
"This isn't smart. I am constantly saying that when you're going to impose sanctions against the second world power [Russia], you need to know that nothing will work. It is impossible to punish either the second or even first world power with sanctions. So, when sanctions are applied, it means that it is impossible to discuss the ways to solve the problems… I want to say that you in Russia are experiencing dire consequences for the economy, as well as those countries that have imposed the sanctions. Everyone in this story suffers losses. And there is no way out," he noted.
Carteron said that in mid-October, he had met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Baku and discussed with him the situation in Ukraine.
"I told him that we agree that what happened to Crimea is a one-way journey. Everyone agrees with that. What does one-way mean? This means that Crimea will never be Ukrainian. I'm not talking about the basis of the problem because this is another matter … We see that sanctions make no sense from the point of view that they cannot achieve a result that will suit those who have decided to introduce them," he added.
Relations between Moscow and the West deteriorated in 2014 after Crimea’s reunification with Russia and amid the crisis in eastern Ukraine. The European Union and the United States imposed restrictive measures against Russian individuals, companies and economic sectors. Moscow has responded by imposing restrictions on food imports from the countries that supported the sanctions.