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French politician: US, EU sanctions against Russia are big mistake

March 18, 2014, 6:59 UTC+3 PARIS
A notable French politician is critical of the United States and the European Union for their decision to take sanctions against Russia following last Sunday’s referendum in Crimea
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Crimeans celebrating after the referendum

Crimeans celebrating after the referendum

© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

PARIS, March 18. /ITAR-TASS/. A notable French politician, philosopher and essayist, former minister for youth affairs, national education and research, Luc Ferry, is critical of the United States and the European Union for their decision to take sanctions against Russia following last Sunday’s referendum in Crimea.

“How can one neglect the outcome of voting by the people?” Ferry asked in a live TV program on the BFM channel. “Crimea is absolutely Russian as far as its population is concerned. I could see that for myself when I visited the peninsula.”

Ferry is certain that the highly questionable administrative decision of 1954 to hand Crimea over to Ukraine left not a single chance for Ukraine’s current authorities to lay claim to that territory.

“We are making a big mistake by following in the footsteps of the United States, which is supportive of the new authorities in Kiev,” Ferry said, adding that the US grossly misjudged the situation in Ukraine.

“The current authorities in Kiev are devoid of any legitimacy,” he said.

The United States and the European Union on Monday published lists of a number of Russian and Crimean officials subjected to retaliatory sanctions.

The US list mentions Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, presidential adviser Sergei Glaziev, head of the State Duma’s CIS affairs committee Leonid Slutsky, Federation Council (upper house) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, chair of the State Duma’s committee for family, women’s and children’s affairs Yelena Mizulina, Crimea’s Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov, Crimean State Council Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov, as well as the leader of the public movement Ukrainian Choice Viktor Medvedchuk and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.

On the black list of the European Union there are 21 names, including thirteen Russian officials, among them chief of the Federation Council’s defence committee Viktor Ozerov, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee Vladimir Dzhabarov, A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov, State Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Zheleznyak and head of the State Duma’s CIS affairs committee Leonid Slutsky, as well as the commander of the Black Sea Fleet Vice-Admiral Aleksandr Vitko, western military district commander Anatoly Suvorov and southern military district commander Aleksandr Galkin.

These persons have been prohibited from entering the territory of the European Union for a period of six months. Also, the EU plans to freeze their accounts in European banks, should any be identified.

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