Yesterday, the upper house of the French Parliament has adopted a resolution to gradually remove the anti-Russian sanctions, following the example of the lower house.
"The restoration of confident and strong relations is essential to address common challenges and achieve a strategic partnership with Russia," the resolution says.
"We note that the EU sanctions against the Russian Federation have a negative impact, both economically and politically, on all the sides, as well as on the relations between the EU and Russia," the resolution stressed.
It is worth noting that the document is advisory and non-binding.
The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, reminded that "France is the largest supplier in the world food market and its production is of high quality and is an important part of French exports." "It also supplied engineering products to Russia. After the sanctions had been introduced, of course, it suffered certain losses. I would not say that these losses were critical, but nonetheless, those French farmers’ enterprises which supply their products abroad in small lots and are focused on the Russian market, suffered heavy losses. And it is hard on the French society," he said.
"Therefore, in this case, both the Senate and the lower chamber are guided by the needs of the population and producers. It should be borne in mind that this is also a game, because everyone knows that the Parliament's decisions are advisory and not binding. It is just a reaction to the sentiments in the society. That is all," the expert added.
"There will be no political consequences, because such decision are mady by either presidents, or NATO, or in conjunction with Washington's decisions. Now the prolongation of sanctions will be slow, because of the elections in the US. But the sanctions will stay. The Parliament is just demonstrating a political initiative, but it is clear that it will not be taken into account during the West's collective global decision making," Andrey Suzdaltsev believes.
Senior Fellow of the Center for European Studies Department at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, expressed the opinion that such parliamentarians' actions were naturally determined. "The matter is that the French policy was formed not today or yesterday in respect of relations with Russia. It has long history dating back in the XVI-XVII century. During this time the interaction of the two countries had a different nature, but in any case, France and Russia have always maintained relations and coordinated their actions in Europe to some extent,'' he reminded.
"But this is just one side. The other is the economic component. The French economy is not export-oriented, French investments are visible in Russia. I think that the motif of traditional friendly ties between Russia and France, and the motif of economic interest in the French business apparently were the main moments roused the Senate to vote," the expert said.
"Traditionally, the French domestic politics was considered as a sort of two-party systems. On the one hand, the Socialist Party headed by Francois Hollande, on the other hand, the Republicans headed by Nicolas Sarkozy. But in recent years, the activity of the National front has become more and more visible in the French political scene. Firstly, it was positioned as a radical organization, but I think it is on the way to become traditional political power. If you consider all the three of these political forces, the Republicans and the National front are in favor of the lifting of sanctions and the maintenance of normal relations with Russia. It explains us the reason why the resolution was adopted by the Senate and the Lower house. These are the three things that explain why France is supporting the lifting of the sanctions in a more active way,'' Olenchenko said.
At the same time, he recalled that "the resolution is a recommendation." "But taking into account the fact that the upper and the lower houses supported it, the government should lend an attentive eye to it,'' the expert said.
Various issues are to be discussed at the meeting of the European Council in late June. If I were French Pime Mnister or Pesident, I would say that our parliament both the upper, and the lower houses supported and I would adopt such a resolution. Accordingly, I have serious doubts that it is necessary to renew the anti-Russian sanctions," Vladimir Olenchenko concluded.