French Member Of European Parliament Calls Kiev's Sanctions Against Her 'Ridiculous'
Virginie Joron, a French member of the European Parliament (EP), told Sputnik on Wednesday that Ukraine's sanctions against her are "ridiculous and counterproductive."
BRUSSELS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th March, 2021) Virginie Joron, a French member of the European Parliament (EP), told Sputnik on Wednesday that Ukraine's sanctions against her are "ridiculous and counterproductive."
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on three-year sanctions against Joron and two other French citizens, Jean-Lin Lacapelle and Philippe Olivier, who are members of the European Parliament, over their visit to Crimea last year.
"I saw last night on Sputnik that I was mentioned as one of the MEPs sanctioned for a cultural visit [last] July when we went to lay flowers on graves [of fallen French soldiers in Crimean War] in Sevastopol. We stayed in Crimea for 24 hours... These sanctions are ridiculous and counterproductive," Joron said.
The lawmaker added that Ukraine's sanctions do not affect her at all, as she has no bank accounts or any investments in the country.
Joron's fellow EU lawmaker from French party National Rally, Jean-Lin Lacapelle, told Sputnik that the news did not come as a surprise to him.
"I had already been informed of the situation by the Ukrainian secret service and was therefore not surprised yesterday to learn that I was sanctioned for being in Crimea last June," Lacapelle said.
The lawmaker also mentioned laying roses on the graves of French soldiers who perished in the Crimean War, saying "as a former soldier, I can tell you that it was moving to be in this cemetery where the largest number of French soldiers killed in action in the world lie.
Lacapelle went on to urge for the end of the "madness of sanctions."
"Russia is a potential ally for Europe. We could together act as a counterweight to the great powers that are China and the US. We could see an economic and political collaboration unfold, but we do not see anything taking shape," Lacapelle stated.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with a private meeting recently hosted by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, that the European Union may be having a change of heart in its rhetoric towards Russia, with some of the most senior executives in Brussels allegedly advocating for a softer approach, saying that Europe's stance on Moscow is outdated and too focused on the Ukrainian conflict.
Moscow-Brussels relations deteriorated in 2014 following the unrest in Ukraine and Crimea's subsequent reunification with Russia, after a people's referendum was held on the peninsula. Russia has been under Western sanctions since. Moscow has responded with equivalent measures and consistently expressed the view that sanctions are counterproductive to EU-Russia relations.