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Sunday, February 25, 2018

The experts explained why the French Senate adopted a resolution on the easing of sanctions

The French Senate adopted a nonbinding resolution on the gradual abolition of anti-Russian sanctions. This is stated on the website of the upper house of the Parliament of the Fifth Republic. For the initiative put forward by the Senator from the “Union of Democrats and independents” by Yves Pozzo di Borgo and his colleagues voted 302, against – 16 (all in the chamber 348 members). Big turnout and a significant number of votes “for” represent a political event, experts believe.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

Recall that most of the Senate seats are held by representatives of center-right party “Republicans” (supporters of ex-President Sarkozy) and the Union of Democrats and independents.”

The authors of the document propose “to the government to review diplomatic and political sanctions and to promote the resumption of negotiations for the initial stage of bilateral meetings at high level between member States, the EU and Russia”. This States that the gradual easing or lifting of anti-Russian sanctions should be accompanied by similar measures from the Russian Federation”. According to Pozzo di Borgo, the resolution may not be endorsed by EU leaders at the upcoming summit, however, members of the European enterprises will certainly think about restrictive measures against Moscow.

“This is due to the fact that the Senate opposition, – said the “MK” vote, the head of the center of the French researches of Institute of Europe Yury Rubinsky. – After the last elections the socialists lost their majority in the Senate, which they had before. Today, a substantial majority is right. The position of the right-wing parties are different, but in General they are more constructive towards Russia. Moreover, once they are in opposition to the government, they had to take a different position, which they did. However, the resolution is a condemnation of Russia’s actions in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. The fact of the great majority and a significant turnout is a political event.

As for the effects, nothing in practice is not – it is a nonbinding resolution. In June, the EU summit, but the countries who criticize the unconditional extension of sanctions, offer the option either for three months instead of six, or that most likely can occur, a gradual abolition in accordance with the developments in the situation in Ukraine with the implementation of the Minsk agreements. In any case the official position of France today is different from German. At the level of Ministers of foreign Affairs, agriculture and Economics says France behind lifting of sanctions, if the Minsk agreements will be implemented”.

“This resolution does not possess such political weight to after its adoption Brussels suddenly decided to radically change its position on sanctions, – said the “MK” associate Professor of European law at MGIMO Nikolai Topornin. – That deputies of different countries and the different levels are in favour of the lifting of sanctions, not news. Before the Venice city Council adopted a similar resolution. What is important to note: in may, the foreign Minister of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced a new approach to sanctions against Russia. He said that the EU is ready for a phased lifting of sanctions after the implementation of certain provisions of the Minsk agreements. If earlier the EU’s position was that the sanctions will be lifted only when fully executed will be the Minsk agreement, Steinmeier – in this he was supported by Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, Merkel said that now the EU in the implementation of certain provisions of the agreements ready to partially lift the sanctions that has made such a move towards Russia. This resolution is in line with this initiative. She will obviously gain speed, but you have to understand that the EU is at the forefront puts the principle of implementation of the Minsk agreements. This is the official position”.

Sanctions . Chronicle of events

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