France ready to lead the way for Europe in removing sanctions against Russia

One of the more interesting items to come out of Davos it appears is a friendlier attitude toward Russia and their leader Vladimir Putin by European powers.  And with Britain and France already breaking protocols with NATO recently over the ISIS threat, the question that is rising is whether Europe as a whole is ready to break away from their long standing affiliation with U.S. foreign policy.

On Jan. 24, France’s Minister of the Economy announced that the Eurozone nation is going to work towards ending sanctions imposed upon Russia, and attempt to facilitate an agreement throughout the EU to bring an end to the economic proxy war the U.S. started with Russia over Ukraine.

France is going to assist in lifting sanctions imposed by the West on Russia by summer this year, Emmanuel Macron, France’s Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, has announced.

“The objective we all share is to provide the lifting of sanctions by the summer, as far as the [peace] process [in southeastern Ukraine] is respected,” the French senior official said on Sunday while addressing French businessmen in Moscow, as cited by AFP.

Macron was referring to the situation in southeastern Ukraine, which saw the US and a number of European countries, including France, imposing restrictions on Russia. To solve the Ukrainian crisis, contact groups have met several times in Minsk, Belarus’ capital, with the participation of French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin, resulting in the so-called ‘Minsk agreements’.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has also pointed out that the sanctions are to be removed when the package of Minsk peace deal measures is fulfilled. “It is possible in these next months to find those Minsk agreements implemented,” Kerry said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss city of Davos. - Russia Today

When economic sanctions were placed upon Russia by the U.S., they coerced Europe into following suit through economic and political pressures from Washington.  But as these sanctions have hurt Russia to some extent, they have proven to have caused even greater harm to Eurozone nations like France and Germany who had massive business contracts with the Eurasian power that were suddenly cut off when Russia imposed their own sanctions in return.


France is not the only nation to suddenly desire a new look at Russian relations as the overall feeling at the World Economic Forum was one of conciliation towards Putin and Russia’s view in the region.  And as Putin has used these sanctions to strengthen ties with China and their Eastern financial systems, the fact that power is shifting from West to East may have a lot to do with Europe’s sudden move away from Washington and into Putin’s camp.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for,, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.

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