MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet on Thursday with France’s former President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss bilateral and international issues, including the situation in Syria, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
Peskov said Putin and Sarkozy would "exchange views on bilateral relations," as well as on European affairs and other topical problems. "They are sure to tackle Syria and other problems," Peskov said.
The Kremlin spokesman noted that the Russian leader had long-term relations with the French ex-president. "They have good personal sincere dialogue," he noted. "Putin always appreciates an opportunity to speak with such influential European politicians like Sarkozy."
Putin has already had a number of meetings with Sarkozy since 2012, when the latter’s presidential term expired. Thus, the two had a private meeting in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi on June 2, 2014, when France’s former first lady, singer Carla Bruni, gave a concert in Moscow. Prior to that, Putin received France’s ex-president at his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo in November 2012. The meeting had an informal character as the two politicians met over a cup of tea.
While being French president, Sarkozy visited Russia several times.
Sarkozy, who is currently the leader of The Republicans party, has stressed more than once that Europe needs strategic cooperation with Russia. In an interview with Le Monde this July he said Europe needed no Cold War with Russia and called for talks with Putin, despite the current differences.
In an interview with Le Parisien in September, the former French president said that the Syrian settlement required cooperation with its neighbor countries and dialogue with Russia.
In an interview with Le Figaro also in September, Sarkozy called to launch a new dialogue between the European Union and Russia and take steps to ensure its return to the Group of Eight.