French Le Pen: Ban on Russian oil to have long-term impact on France
Following the West's wave of sanctions on Russian oil exports, French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen opposes the ban by France, saying it would have a long-term impact on the country.
The National Rally's party leader Marine Le Pen opposed on Wednesday banning Russia's energy imports, justifying her opposition by saying that an embargo would hurt the French economy more than the pandemic did.
In a bid to paralyze the Russian economy, US President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday a decision banning Russian oil, natural gas, and coal imports to the US in response to Russia's special military operation in Ukraine. The UK followed suit, halting imports of Russian oil and petroleum products as of 2023.
Read more: EU and UK sanctions to exacerbate energy crisis
Answering the France 2 broadcaster's question on whether Europe must abandon natural gas and oil imports from Russia, Le Pen said "no," explaining that such a decision would impact the people and economy of France for a long time.
"To use this leverage means to severely punish the people of France, French companies, the French economy, which may need years to recover. The effects could be much worse than those of the pandemic," Le Pen said.
She added that sanctions should be chosen in a way that would not target France's purchasing power and economic activity.
Russia takes measures to secure economy amid Russian oil bans
In light of Biden's recent measures to block Russian oil exports which sent global oil prices surging, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree which introduced special economic measures to ensure Russia's foreign trade security, according to the official website for legal information on Tuesday.
The decree reportedly allows the government to impose restrictions on exports from and imports to Russia regarding products and raw materials with particular countries - the list of countries will be defined later.
"For the purposes of ensuring the security of the Russian Federation and uninterrupted functioning of manufacturing industry, I order... to enforce the following special economic measures until December 31, 2022, [including] ban on the export from… and import to the Russian Federation of products and (or) raw materials, according to the list determined by the Russian government," the decree reads.
Furthermore, the decree mentions that the measures taken will not apply to raw materials exported from Russia or imported into Russia by Russian citizens, foreign citizens, and stateless persons for personal use.