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French society split over anti-Russian sanctions — lawmaker

September 02, 2014, 21:41 UTC+3 PARIS
Chairman of the Russian State Duma’s international affairs committee Alexei Pushkov says major political forces and business agencies criticize the policy of EU and US sanctions against Russia
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Alexei Pushkov

Alexei Pushkov

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Fadeichev

PARIS, September 02. /ITAR-TASS/. The chairman of the Russian State Duma’s international affairs committee Alexei Pushkov said on Tuesday he saw a major split in the French society over the government’s anti-Russian policy amid developments in Ukraine.

Following a meeting of Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin with French business people and general public, Pushkov said it had demonstrated a major gap between the official policy in many European countries and the moods prevailing in business and even political circles.

Major political forces and business agencies criticize the policy of EU and US sanctions against Russia, Pushkov said.

French President’s special representative to Russia Jean-Pierre Chevenement and one of the richest men in France Serge Dassault saw it proper to attend the meeting held on Monday, he added.

Pushkov said “many influential French people believe EU's blindly following in the US footsteps is at variance with France’s national interests”.

Pushkov said these people are trying to influence the process of decision making. France goes ahead with the delivery of Mistral warships to Russia also because the majority of the French business and enterprises working on Mistrals are against this, he added.

“The fact that EU sanctions are rather limited is also the result of influence by these circles - partially political and partially business,” Pushkov said.

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