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MP says Russia-France dialog can become guideline for mending ties with West

July 19, 2016, 20:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A senior Russian lawmaker sees cooperation with French parliamentarians as politically important

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MOSCOW, July 19. /TASS/. Cooperation of Russian and French parliamentarians could become a guideline for the development of Russia-West relations in new conditions, a senior Russian parliamentarian said in his blog on the upper house’s website on Tuesday.

Konstantin Kosachev sees cooperation with French parliamentarians as "politically important if not breakthrough" in the activity of his foreign affairs committee in the spring session.

He reminded the readers that in response to a French Senate’s report ‘France-Russia: search for the way out of political deadlock’ last autumn, Russian parliamentarians "for the first time agreed with the colleagues to meet and openly discuss their assessment and conclusions".

On March 9-10, a heavyweight delegation from the Federation Council’s group for cooperation with France’s Senate visited France to discuss the Ukrainian crisis, the situation in Syria, including its humanitarian aspects, migration problems, bilateral cultural and scientific cooperation as well as ties between regions.

They separately touched upon anti-Russian sanctions, their negative impact on bilateral ties. The sides urged lifting of any restrictions imposed against parliamentarians.

On June 8, France’s upper house passed a resolution on a ‘gradual easing’ of sanctions the European Union imposed against Russia over Ukraine.

"Now, in the follow-up of the meeting, we are preparing our own report, in which renowned Russian experts are helping us," Kosachev wrote. The final version is due in September, after which Russian parliamentarians expect to work through a joint communique.

He expressed hope that parliamentarians of the two counties would present this document not only to the French and Russian leadership, but "also to other European states as a program guideline for the development of ties between Russia and the West in new conditions".

For incorporation of Crimea after the 2014 coup in Ukraine, Russia came under sanctions on the part of the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon intensified following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia supported militias in self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in destabilization of Ukraine.

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