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Sanctions against Russia will damage Russian-French relations - Yakunin

April 17, 2014, 2:24 UTC+3 PARIS
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PARIS, April 17, /ITAR-TASS/. Vladimir Yakunin, the president of the Russian Railways Company, said on Wednesday that the damage from possible tensions in Russian-French business relations “would be considerable and heavy for economy.”

“The damage from possible tensions or disruption of business relations between France and Russia would not only be considerable and heavy for the economy. It’s going to be a price for the chauvinism displayed at Euromaidan, extreme nationalism and manifestations of fascism which were supported by concrete forces,” Yakunin, who the Russian co-chairman of the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association, said.

Yakunin is convinced that the policy of sanctions is being imposed on Europeans by the United States with an aim “to sting the pride of the Russian leader, the pride of people but not to harm the United States. He remembered the past events in Lebanon and Iraq.

“If we remember Libya and Iraq, it was the Europeans who had to pay a price for those enterprises,” the head of Russian Railways said.

Meanwhile, the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association has called on the European Union to refrain from applying a policy of sanctions against Russia.

The Association’s General Assembly passed a resolution urging the European Union to give up its plans to apply sanctions against Russia.

“This policy contradicts the interests of France and Russia,” Thierry Mariani, a deputy of the French National Assembly, told journalists on Wednesday.

“Members of the French-Russian Dialogue come out for conciliation and ongoing dialogue and cooperation between our countries,” he said, noting that “the interests of Europe and Russia remained common and the way of tensions and sanctions would contradict mutually beneficial interests,” Mariani said, adding that he considered sanctions targeted against individuals “to be extremely unfair”.

The Franco-Russian Dialogue Association was founded in Paris in 2004 on the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Jacques Chirac who had taken the association under personal patronage.

The association’s key idea is to strengthen and promote dialogue between the civil societies of Russia and France.

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