Former French president considers sanctions on Russia to be counterproductive

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PARIS, October 31. /TASS/. The West’s sanctions against Russia are counterproductive, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in an interview with the Le Point magazine. He also called on Europe to trust Russia more.

“Europe and Russia should work in an atmosphere of trust,” the politician said in his first interview in the past several months. “Sanctions are counterproductive,” Sarkozy stressed.

He pointed out that the West’s policy towards Moscow was wrong. According to the former French president, “everything is done nowadays to push Russia into China’s embrace.” In this connection, he mentioned the US Congress’s plans “to cut Russian banks’ access to international financing.” “Do they think about consequences at all?” Sarkozy said.

In his view, “there is a need to reach out to Russia.” “No matter the disagreements between us, Vladimir Putin has brought Russia back to center stage,” Sarkozy noted, adding that “the recent FIFA World Cup showed Russia’s beauty.”

 

Internal and external issues

 

While commenting on the pressing issues Europe is facing, Sarkozy said that the migration crisis had not reached its peak yet. “In 30 years, Nigeria will have more population than the United States,” he noted. “The population of the African continent will grow to one to 2.5 bln people, and half of them will be under 25 years of age. This may help understand what migration flows will be like in the years to come,” he added.

In this regard, the former French president said that “assisting in the economic development of Africa is not a matter of charity for Europe, but a most important strategic imperative.”

Sarkozy also spoke out in favor of reforming international organizations. “We need to think about creating a new supranational organization in Europe, where three partners – Europe, Turkey and Russia – would be the founders,” he said. “It will facilitate high-level political dialogue and make it possible to discuss security issues, the fight against terrorism and economic cooperation,” Sarkozy added.

As for France’s domestic problems, the country’s former head of state called for giving more time to incumbent President Emmanuel Macron. “I know how difficult it is to meet all expectations that emerge during election campaigns so I will refrain from criticism,” Sarkozy said.

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