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Putin to discuss current state and prospects of Russian-French relations with Sarkozy

June 15, 2016, 9:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, the conversation will be informal.

Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov said the talks between Putin and Sarkozy will not be a protocol meeting. The current state and prospects of Russian-French relations, the situation in the Middle East, particularly in Syria Ushakov named as pobble topics of discussion. Ushakov added that Putin and Sarkozy are expected to discuss a wide range of issues of bilateral cooperation in political, trade, investment and cultural fields.

The Kremlin noted that the basic mechanisms of bilateral cooperation are now "virtually frozen by the French side." In particular, there were no meetings of the intergovernmental commission on the level of prime ministers since November 2013.

Trade turnover between Russia and France fell by 36.2% in 2015, however, showed an increase of 4.2% in January-March 2016. After three quarters of 2015, the volume of direct French investments in the Russian economy grew by $1 bln, reaching $13.2 bln. Not one of the nearly 500 French companies on the Russian market has left it in recent years.

The meeting with Sarkozy will be the first in a series of meetings that Putin will hold in the next three days on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. It is already known that the Russian leader has scheduled meetings with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Republic of Guinea Alpha Conde, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi. Also. Head of State scheduled a number of meetings with representatives of the world's largest companies.

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