Member of the European Parliament from France Thierry Mariani in his address to the European Commission inquired whether the authorities are considering the possibility of developing a new economic policy in relation to the Russian Federation in order to improve the situation of European entrepreneurs who have suffered due to anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the European Union.
In particular, in the text of the appeal, which was reviewed by RT, Mariani pointed out the consequences that French farmers had to face due to restrictive measures - entrepreneurs lost access to important markets.
“For several years, French farmers have suffered from the consequences of sanctions against Moscow, which deprive the crisis-ridden sector of vital sales markets,” the text of the document says.
The European MP also added that in the United States, despite the difficulties existing in relations between Moscow and Washington, a tendency is forming to conduct mutually beneficial commercial transactions, which, according to Mariani, could be followed by the European Union.
“Against the backdrop of the repatriation of Russian capital from a number of EU member states, including Cyprus, European countries should follow the example of the United States, which focused on commercial transactions with Russia, and not on the ideology of mutual hostility, obsolete since the Cold War,” the politician said.
- European Parliamentarian from France Thierry Mariani
- © Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD
In the light of the above arguments, Mariani asked if the European Commission was considering the possibility of changing the behavior model in relation to Moscow.
“Are you going to move towards a new economic strategy for Russia for the well-being of European companies and workers?” The appeal says.
In a conversation with RT, Mariani said that there are contradictions in the European Commission regarding possible options for the future economic policy of the EU. So, the new vice president of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, on the one hand, noted the importance of prolonging anti-Russian sanctions, and on the other, pointed out the importance of taking measures to restore the European economy. According to the European Parliament, these two positions are not consistent with each other.
“The new vice president of the commission, Borrel ... said three times that the primary task is to show solidarity in order to maintain sanctions, and at the same time they say they want to restore the economy. This is nonsense! This illustrates a policy in which there is ultimately no line, and the efforts that are made are contradictory, ”Mariani explained, adding that he is currently awaiting a response to his request.
Although the current state of affairs is detrimental to all interested parties, it is unlikely that the European bureaucrats can expect a change of course in the Russian direction, believes Sergei Silvestrov, Doctor of Economics, Honored Economist of the Russian Federation. According to him, the sanctions policy against Russia was agreed upon within the framework of the EU-USA alliance, which was once again announced during the anniversary NATO summit held in London on December 3-4.
“Sanctions are detrimental to both sides, of course ... On the whole, it can be said that the initiative in the EC, of course, will not be accepted, this is obvious, since it is an agreed, common position of the alliance,” the source said.
In turn, Vladimir Olenchenko, a senior fellow at the Center for European Studies at IMEMO RAS, expressed hope that European countries and the EU leadership would be able to find options on how to nullify the sanctions regime with Russia.
“But to what extent EU leaders will be able to focus on this task, how they will be able to approach it objectively, how they will be able to reject sanctions - this is a matter of political art, understanding and, most importantly, political competence and will,” Olenchenko said.
In the text of the appeal to the European Commission, Mariani also, referring to the research data of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council, recalled that American and European companies, despite the application of sanctions, continue to export Russian goods.
“According to a study by the Foreign Investment Advisory Council, capital investments affect not only the structure of exports, but also the imports of the respective countries. So, according to the study, 71% of American companies and 63% of European companies export Russian-made goods, ”the text says.
Recall that the regularly extended EU restriction regime for Russia was introduced after the events of 2014 in southeastern Ukraine. Its action is carried out in three directions - sectoral and personal restrictions, as well as sanctions against the Crimea and Sevastopol. In response, the Russian side established counter-sanctions, moving on to the implementation of the import substitution strategy.
At the same time, calls for the lifting or easing of sanctions are regularly heard in Europe. So, in April 2019, another French European MP Nadine Morano stated that EU anti-Russian sanctions did not have a political impact on Moscow, while the Russian response did “real harm to European manufacturers”.
Politicians in Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Rome, Belgrade made proposals to lift the sanctions regime against Moscow. However, in the summer, Donald Tusk, who served as head of the European Council, linked the lifting of sanctions to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, of which Russia is not a subject. Moscow is only a guarantee of the fulfillment of the agreements, but the West ignores this fact.
- Vladimir Putin
- RIA News
- © Sergey Mamontov
During a direct line with the president in June 2019, Vladimir Putin confirmed that foreign partners really bear serious economic costs due to sanctions and retaliatory measures taken by Moscow.
“According to expert data, as a result of all these restrictions, Russia over the years, starting in 2014, lost about $ 50 billion somewhere, the European Union lost $ 240 billion, the United States - $ 17 billion (we have a small trade turnover with them), Japan - $ 27 billion. This is still reflected in jobs in these countries, including the EU countries: they are losing our market, ”the head of state said.
Stanislav Byshok, executive director of the CIS-EMO monitoring organization, noted that Mariani belongs to those European deputies who have always advocated cooperation with Russia and against anti-Russian sanctions. The interlocutor of RT added that European business is certainly interested in resuming effective cooperation with Moscow, including against the backdrop of the observed "cooling" in relations between the United States and the EU.
“I think that European business, of course, has an interest in resuming economic relations with Russia on all fronts - in a good sense of the word - especially given the cooling between continental Europe and the United States in different contexts - both economically and politically , and in the military. That is, in this case, Russia’s opening is the most, ”said the expert.
At the same time, Byshok suggested that the prospect of partial lifting of European sanctions is more real than the abolition of restrictions imposed by the Americans. This, according to the analyst, is primarily due to the existence of close economic ties between Russia and Europe.
“Europe and Russia are much more economically interconnected, including through mutual trade and energy projects, than with the USA ... In Europe, the situation is different, so this gives some moderate optimism,” summed up Byshok.