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France objects to exterritorial anti-Russian sanctions, says ambassador

Paris wants to safeguard the opportunities for investment and economic presence in Russia

MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. The French government objects to the introduction of exterritorial sanctions against Russia by the US, the French Ambassador in Moscow, Sylvie Bermann told Rossiya’24 news channel on Wednesday.

"France has an absolutely clear position in what concerns the US sanctions of exterritorial character," she said. "We find them to be unacceptable. We would like to safeguard our own interests and the opportunities for investment and economic presence here in Russia."

Also, she recalled that the EU had made the changes in its sanctions against Russia contingent on progress in the implementation of the Minsk accords on peace settlement of the armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine.

"Sanctions are instruments and we do hope the situation [in eastern Ukraine] will be changing," Ambassador Bermann said. "We also hope for their revision after the Minsk accords are translated into life."

The EU and the US introduced sanctions against Russia in July 2014 in the wake of events in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification in Russia, which Washington and the Europeans refused to recognized in spite of the landslide results of voting for reunification in the referendum in Crimea in March 2014.

Subsequently, the Europeans and the Americans expanded the sanctions several times.

At the end of July 2017, the US House of Representatives adopted the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act. President Donald Trump signed it into law on August 2, expressing his strong objections to some of its provisions along the way.

The law envisions a toughening of unilateral restrictive measures against Russia, Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Its initiators also made efforts to make the law exterritorial and spelt out the mechanisms for applying the sanctions to the companies and institutes in third countries, which cooperate with the Russian energy sector businesses, defense manufacturers or intelligence services.