"There is no reason to extend these sanctions. We are in favor of establishing peaceful and constructive relations with Russia… Therefore, we condemn [sanctions]," the official said after meeting with Andrey Nazarov, the co-chair of the Yalta International Economic Forum organizing committee.
The French official's statement comes after the European Union decided to prolong sanctions on Russia for another six months on December 13.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the incident was a provocation prepared in advance as a pretext to introduce martial law in Ukraine ahead of the country’s presidential election. The martial law would affect the campaign, set to start in late December, amid Poroshenko's low approval rating, Putin said.