Europe News

Soc Gen CEO: I am committed to Russia

We are committed to the Russian market: SocGen CEO

The chief executive of Société Générale, France's second-largest bank by market value, said he is committed to keeping links between Europe and Russia strong, in light of the crisis in Ukraine.

Frédéric Oudéa said that because Russia is such a key partner for many European countries, especially in the energy sector, he expects that any European Union sanctions against Russia would be limited as both regions have too much to lose.

(Read more: Crimea referendum: Why it's so important )

"My central scenario is limited sanctions and of course it creates uncertainty for the time being. It can create, for a short period of time, less access to international markets," Oudéa told CNBC.

"But fundamentally I can confirm my commitment to Russia in the long term, because my strategy vision is the link will remain strong with Europe," he said.

European Union foreign ministers are in talks to approve sanctions against Russia in response to the Russia's actions in the southern Ukrainian region of Crimea.

(Read more: $3 billion for Ukraine to go straight to...Russia)

Crimea's pro-Russian authorities plan to hold a referendum on Sunday -- condemned as illegal by the West -- which is expected to overwhelmingly back the region's unification with its larger neighbor Russia.

Ahead of talks Friday in London between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, the EU is expected to adopt measures similar to those implemented by U.S. President Barack Obama, who has authorized asset freezes and travel bans on Russian or Crimean officials whom the U.S. holds responsible for threatening Ukraine's territorial integrity.

The White House also warned that additional measures are also possible, while EU governments warned that any further steps by Russia to destabilize the situation in Ukraine "would lead to additional and far reaching consequences for relations in a broad range of areas" between Russia and EU states.

(Read more: SocGen's earnings triple in 2013 but miss estimates)

Oudéa said he did not think SocGen would suffer from potential sanctions.

"I don't think so. As I said it is not in my central scenario. I think sanctions will be pretty limited, because both developed countries and Russia have something to lose in relatively significant sanctions," he said.

"We don't want to have an energy market which will be disturbed by any kind of sanctions. We don't want to see the price of oil going up, we don't want to see the price of gas going up, so that is why discussions at a diplomatic level will keep carrying on and personally I think that the central scenario is more pragmatism," he added.

By CNBC's Jenny Cosgrave: Follow her on Twitter @jenny_cosgrave