Sputnik: You represent Flemish Interest — a Belgian patriotic party. How does it view relations with Moscow, and how do Europeans in general view them?
Frank Creyelman: You may not know that, but I was the guy, who brought all the right-wing parties to make a turn towards Russia. The sanctions — they were pushed onto us by the United States, and they have only one reason — that America wants to sell gas to the European Union. There is Nord Stream too. Russian gas is cheaper, because [American] gas is coming from across the ocean, and it cannot be cheaper than Russian gas. That's one of the geopolitical reasons.
So, all that has happened in the last two, three months — the Novichok thing in Great Britain, the so-called "chemical attack from the Syrian army" — all this [is] to damage Russia and to keep the sanctions alive.
When I was in Moscow four years ago, sanctions were put in place. And in Belgium there was a certain riot, because we export a lot of fruit and vegetables to Russia. And suddenly we couldn't do that anymore, so the farmers rose up: "Why do we need sanctions? Why is America telling us what to do?" I was in Moscow, at a famous warehouse, and I looked for European fruit, and I couldn't find it, but I found American fruit. So, this is the symbol of what is happening: the Americans are pressing the European Union towards sanctions against Russia, we lose money, and Russia loses money. So, this will not continue. I think sanctions will not last. Because now also Germans are seeing what is happening, and Germans are "the motor" of the European Union in some way, so it's almost finished.
Sputnik: What about the Belgian government? Do you feel that now they are willing to change their stance on the Russia policy?
Frank Creyleman: We were the motors of bringing — even our government — a little bit closer to Russia. You must know that our prime minister, Charles Michel, came here, he was here a few months ago. And then the Novichok thing came, and we had to expel diplomats. We were the last one to expel one diplomat, I suppose it was the cleaning lady we expelled and not a diplomat.
Sputnik: If things change between our countries and the EU decides to abolish sanctions, will Belgian farmers be ready to redirect their produce to Russia? Many of them have probably found alternative markets by now.
Frank Creyelman: They are more relaxed because they have found other markets. But they will export to Russia if necessary — of course they will. Why wouldn't they?
Sputnik: You attended discussions here at the Yalta Forum about the creation of a free-trade zone in Crimea. What do you think about the idea?
Frank Creyelman: The free zone is very important if you want to bring investors to Crimea, which is possible, people are waiting for that, but they need more certainty, facts. That is a little bit missing. But, for the rest, of course, it's very interesting: you bring people together, you bring businessmen together, politicians together, so that's what that conference is about, and what is coming after — is even more important.
The views of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.