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8 Jan, 2020 11:56

France wants to push reset button in economic relations with Russia

France wants to push reset button in economic relations with Russia

Paris is looking for ways to avoid US sanctions in order to relaunch and deepen economic cooperation with Moscow, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has reportedly said.

"We want to restart our economic exchanges with Moscow, complying with international law and not being constrained by extraterritorial financial sanctions," the minister said, as quoted by Sputnik. He added that the restrictions are the main obstacle for economic relations between the two countries and vowed to find solutions to skirt the consequences within six months. 

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Le Maire was apparently referring to recent US measures targeting companies involved in the construction of the underwater Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is set to deliver Russian gas to Germany and other European customers. The launch of the project was recently postponed as Swiss-Dutch firm Allseas decided to stop the works in the Baltic Sea, where the last kilometers of pipes were set to be laid.

France has its own interest in the multi-billion-dollar project, as its energy provider ENGIE holds a nine-percent stake in it, along with other foreign investors. 

In December, Le Maire and his Russian counterpart, Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin, signed a "roadmap" to further boost economic ties between the two nations. The agreement covers some joint projects in the energy, nuclear and space sectors, among others.

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