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Meeting of Russian-French commission possible only if sanctions lifted — parliamentarian

July 23, 2015, 15:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Member of the French National Assembly Thierry Mariani expressed hope that that the reciprocal dialogue would make it possible to bring the situation to the lifting of sanctions on both sides
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Member of the French National Assembly Thierry Mariani

Member of the French National Assembly Thierry Mariani

© Anna Isakova/Russian State Duma Press Office/TASS

MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. The meeting of the big inter-parliamentary Russian-French commission may take place if the reciprocal sanctions are removed, member of the French National Assembly Thierry Mariani told reporters on Thursday. Mariani heads the delegation of French lawmakers who decided to visit Crimea.

"Are there chances to convene the big commission? Yes, there are, but only if the sanctions are lifted," he noted.

The French parliamentarian recalled that the chairman of the French National Assembly had refused to take part in the session of the big commission because one of the French lawmakers had been placed on the Russian "stop-list". "He forgot to specify though that prior to that far more Russian MPs had been placed on the European Union’s sanctions lists," Mariani added.

He expressed hope that that the reciprocal dialogue would make it possible "to bring the situation to the lifting of sanctions on both sides." "If we really want the meeting of the big commission to take place, this will be the main condition for that," the French politician said.

The meeting of the Russian-French inter-parliamentary commission were originally scheduled for June 18, but speaker of Russia’s State Duma Sergey Naryshkin and Chairman of the French National Assembly Claude Bartolone agreed to postpone it. Bartolone noted that France "remained strongly committed" to the inter-parliamentary dialogue between Paris and Moscow. He said he was perplexed by the fact that the head of the parliamentary majority had been placed on the list of undesirable persons "for some unknown reasons."

On May 30, 2015, Moscow confirmed that it handed over to the European Union member-countries the list of persons banned from entering Russia. The list includes 89 names. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the main criterion for the "stop-list" was active support of a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. The list was drawn up last year as a symmetrical response to the relevant EU blacklists.

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