Le Pen blasts reverse effect of anti-Russia sanctions
Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s right-wing National Rally party, has dismissed EU sanctions against Russia as “completely inefficient.”
Speaking to French broadcaster BMF TV on Sunday, Le Pen said the “sanctions had enriched Russia; they have sanctioned the French more than they had sanctioned Russia.”. The right-wing opposition leader also added that, due to Western sanctions, France had been forced to buy oil from India, a country that itself depends on oil exports from Russia.
Her comments come as the EU plans to phase out Russian gas by 2030 in response to Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine. In early June, the bloc adopted a new package of sanctions that included a partial embargo on Russian oil imports.
At the same time, according to a recent Bloomberg report, although the Russian economy was hit hard by sweeping Western sanctions, it proved to be more resilient than anticipated, with surging oil shipments responsible for blunting the impact of punitive measures.
The EU imposed a raft of new sanctions after Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following the nation’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.