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Moscow, Paris see eye to eye on Syria but disagree on Ukraine — French ambassador

September 06, 13:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Moscow evaluates the prospects for the Russian-French relations with cautious optimism
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French Ambassador to Russia, Jean-Maurice Ripert

French Ambassador to Russia, Jean-Maurice Ripert

© Artiom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, September 6. /TASS/. France is committed to dialogue with Russia, but disagreements, particularly over Ukraine, remain, French Ambassador to Russia, Jean-Maurice Ripert, said on Tuesday speaking to the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) at the presentation of a report titled "Russia-France: Parliamentary Vision of the Future."

"French-Russian relations at the political level are very intense," the ambassador stated.

"As for Ukraine, disagreements persist here. As all EU members, we do not recognize the annexation of Crimea, which we still consider illegal. We express our deep regret over the destabilization in eastern Ukraine. At the same time, we are fully committed to dialogue with Russia," Ripert said.

He added that France and Russia have common goals in Syria. "We have the same objective in Syria, namely, the destruction of the Islamic State (terrorist group outlawed in Russia -TASS) as well as the goal of ensuring that Syria becomes a united, secular and democratic country," the ambassador explained. Ripert stressed the existing interaction between Paris and Moscow in combating terrorism in that country.

Moscow cautiously optimistic about future relations with France

Alexei Paramonov, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s First European Department, said on Tuesday Moscow evaluated the prospects for the Russian-French relations with cautious optimism.

"There is every reason to look at the prospects for the Russian-French relations with cautious optimism," he said speaking to the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) at the presentation of a report titled "Russia-France: Parliamentary Vision of the Future."

"At the moment we are going through the stage of testing our relations. There is a common understanding, a common milestone that this period should be overcome by means of consolidated effort," the diplomat said.

Paramonov commended the efforts of the so-called parliamentary diplomacy expressing the hope that inter-parliamentary cooperation between the two countries will be restored in full.

Russia expects to revive previous cooperation formats with France 

According to the diplomat, Moscow hopes that important mechanisms of its bilateral cooperation with France will be restored.

"The state of affairs in our bilateral relations with France remains ambiguous. There are many positive aspects. However, there are some points, which continue to worry us," he said.

According to the diplomat, Moscow is concerned about freezing some essential cooperation formats typical of relations between Russia and France. These include " the big parliamentary commission involving the heads of Russia’s State Duma, representatives of the French National Assembly, the Cooperation Council with the participation of the foreign and defense ministers and the intergovernmental commission."

"I am confident that the crises will come to an end, while our good relations will continue," the diplomat noted.

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