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Time to look East? Trump’s unilateralism leaves EU in need of reliable partners, ex-French PM says

Time to look East? Trump’s unilateralism leaves EU in need of reliable partners, ex-French PM says
As Washington’s unilateralism continues to widen the rift between the US and the EU, Paris is starting to warm to the idea of closer ties with Russia and other countries, ex-French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told RT. 

Speaking on RT’s SophieCo show with Sophie Shevardnadze, Jean-Pierre Raffarin said that Trump’s “disagreeable” decision to unilaterally pull-out of the 2015 Iran deal –known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – has fueled EU leaders’ concerns about Washington’s reliability as a leading economic and security partner.

The former prime minister insisted that, despite Washington’s attempts to throw the landmark JCPOA agreement off-balance, the bloc would not give up on its hopes to salvage the deal. France will continue negotiations with “the great powers committed to this position” – namely Russia, China and Germany, he promised.

Pointing out that French companies were being penalized by Washington’s decision to quit the Iran nuclear deal and impose fresh sanctions on Tehran, Raffarin warned that transatlantic relations between France and the United States faced “huge issues.” He also noted other manifestations of Donald Trump’s “unilateralism,” including the US president’s opposition to the Paris climate accord, and his controversial decision to relocate the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Asked to assess how damaging these developments have been to Europe’s relationship with Washington, Raffarin speculated that the EU will look eastward if its transatlantic partnership with the United States continues to deteriorate. He added that he was far from the only Frenchman advocating warmer relations with Russia.

Raffarin applauded President Emmanuel Macron’s willingness to engage with Moscow, noting that Russia’s input and participation was necessary to achieve regional and global security.

He said that there was a need for a Euro-Asian coalition consisting of France, Germany, Russia and China, to ensure "worldwide stability."

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