YALTA, August 14, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s retaliatory sanctions against Western agricultural imports are prompted by the need to protect domestic agricultural producers, President Vladimir Putin told French politician and businessmen Philippe de Villiers at a meeting in the Livada Palace on Thursday.
Putin explained that Russian retaliatory measures had no other aim than to defend domestic agricultural producers who found themselves in a disadvantage in their own market after Europe had imposed sanctions against Russia.
“We were forced to take measures to protect them,” Putin went on to say, adding the Russian-imposed sanctions were not aimed at causing damage to anybody.
The French businessman, in turn, assured the Russian president that many Europeans considered sanctions to be “a language of war” and cooperation “a language of peace.”
“People in Europe do not think the same as their leaders and do not share the opinion of those who issues commands from Brussels,” Philippe de Villiers said, adding he was sure that the future of Europe was linked not to the United States but to Europe, including Russia. He said that French agricultural producers understood that European officials in Brussels, who dance to the tune of their American partners, started that “war of sanctions”.
Philippe de Villiers believes that Europe needed its own independent voice and that this voice should belong to France.
Putin replied there were “various people with various views” both in Europe and Russia but Russia, he said, would follow its path and defend its principles.
In conclusion, Philippe de Villiers said that in the hearts of many Europeans a politician like Vladimir Putin was much a more respected figure than most European leaders.