Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde urged US President Donald Trump to review his policies regarding imposing sanctions on Iran and Russia.
Lagarde made the remarks while addressing St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
US has to change its policies regarding Iran and Russia since its aim is not clear, she said.
The IMF chief also noted that the loopholes in US laws, including in what concerns the policy of sanctions, have adversely impacted many companies, even American ones, as the judicial and court systems are non-transparent. She stressed that this problem of trust needs to be addressed.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin also raised similar concerns.
“The situation in the world is such that it is as though everyone is playing football, but at the same time, they are applying judo rules to it [the match]. So, we end up with this interesting game, it's neither football, nor judo. It's just chaos," Putin said.
US President Donald Trump on May 8 pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reinstated nuclear sanctions on Iran.
This is while most world powers including Russia, China, and European Union have repeatedly stressed that keeping the deal is in the interest of world peace and security.
The Iran nuclear deal headlined the key topics at the St. Petersburg meeting.
“The Iran nuclear deal has been fixed in a relevant resolution of the United Nations Security Council. It is a multilateral legal document. And if we want our actions to be predictable, we must stick to commonly recognized rules. Unilateral actions lead to a dead-end and are always counterproductive,” said the Russian president and called on all participants in this process to “speak to each other openly to find a solution.”
He once again spoke categorically against any unilateral sanctions and restrictions. He recalled his speech at a Munich Security Conference several years ago when he had warned about the inadmissibility of a state using its legal norms extraterritorially. “And now, here we are. I think if we thoroughly analyze what is going on and react to it timely, we will have less problems like these,” he added.
Putin underlined that the US withdrawal was damaging and counter-productive.
He also railed against the United States applying its laws beyond its borders to punish foreign companies. “This is unacceptable and it has to end,” he said.
The French President Emmanuel Macron also spoke in favor of keeping the Iran nuclear deal in place. He said that it was his country’s “sovereign choice” to sign the nuclear deal with Iran.
“I want us to respect each other, so that there won't be any kind of interference,” Macron insisted.
“If we sign an agreement, we need to stick to it, no matter who decides to leave. What is signed, must be followed.”
He hailed the idea of Europe’s common measures to protect its companies that can be affected by Washington’s anti-Iranian sanctions. At the same time, he was downbeat on such measures on a national level as companies must assess their risks and make decisions independently.
The EU foreign ministers will meet in the Belgian capital, Brussels, on May 28 to discuss the latest developments around the nuclear deal.
“The (Foreign Affairs) Council will provide an opportunity to reaffirm the EU’s unified view and position in support of maintaining this agreement and to signal our determination to do everything possible to preserve it, as long as the Iranians uphold their commitments in this area,” according to a statement by France Diplomatie on Saturday.
It added, “The EU is determined to protect its interests and those of its businesses and investors in the face of the extraterritorial effect of US Sanctions”.
“This discussion will also provide an opportunity to reaffirm the need to address the ballistic missile and regional issues within the framework of a comprehensive approach to Iran”.
A meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) took place in Vienna on 25 May 2018 upon the request of Iran in order to review the implications of the withdrawal of the US.
After the commission meeting, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said talks with European powers on an economic package aimed at salvaging the Iran nuclear deal will continue.
“For the time being we are negotiating... to see if they can provide us with a package which can actually give Iran the benefits of sanctions-lifting and then the next step is to find guarantees for that package and we need both legal and political commitments by the remaining participants in the JCPOA (deal),” Araqchi told reporters.
It was the first such meeting since the accord came into force in 2015 – at Iran's request – without the United States, which pulled out on May 8.
IRNA and TASS contributed to this story.