2019-12-18 15-24-43During a meeting on December 10, 2019 between the Ministers of Economy of France and Russia, Bruno Le Maire and his Russian counterpart Maxim Oreshkin announced that they give themselves six months to create a mechanism to facilitate the financing of Franco-Russian economic projects, despite US sanctions.

 The French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, while on a visit to Moscow, blamed US extraterritorial sanctions for forbidding French banks having interests in US to finance projects in Russia or Franco-Russian projects.

"We give ourselves six months to find acceptable solutions, solutions innovative and in respect to the international right", said Le Maire at the meeting with his Russian counterpart Maxim Oreshkin. He promised to discuss this issue with the Russian Minister at the Davos Economic Forum in January and return to Russia over the next six months.

"President Macron has made a strategic choice for Russia, and we want it to be supported economically", added Le Maire, regretting that at the moment "we are stumbling in every ambitious project on the issue of financing because of American sanctions."

Without specifying the nature of the decisions mentioned, the minister excluded the use of a barter mechanism, such as Instex, developed by EU to circumvent US sanctions against Iran, avoiding dollar. This is unlikely to produce any results.

France is the largest foreign employer in Russia. Among the leading projects in which France participates through the Total group, there are giant Novatek LNG plants in the Arctic, for which the issue of financing by French banks is essential.