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STRASBOURG, September 16. /TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s visit to France in October will set the tone for bilateral ties and renew cooperation agenda, Russian Upper House Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said at a meeting with President of the National Assembly of France Claude Bartolone at the sidelines of the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament.
Matvieynko noted that both countries’ lawmakers should take active part in the process. According to her, despite the continuing difficulties, the presidents of Russia and France have been in contact "as the ‘Normandy Four’ group members and on the bilateral level as well." "In October, President Putin will visit France at the invitation of President Hollande, I am sure that contacts like these set the tone and define the agenda of our bilateral cooperation in many aspects," she added.
The Upper House speaker also called on the French National Assembly President to enhance contacts with Russian lawmakers. "We very much regret that due to well-known reasons Russian-French relations have lost momentum, (…) I think that our countries’ legislators can exert some influence so that our relations are reset in many different fields," Matviyenko said.
As a positive example she mentioned the cooperation between Russia’s Federation Council (Upper House) and the French Senate. The Senate speaker Gerard Larcher has visited Russia twice and maintains close contact with the Federation Council speaker. Matviyenko also noted that both houses’ committees for international affairs were working on reports on the history and the current condition of bilateral relations.
"We expect that after the upcoming State Duma elections the dialogue between the lower houses will be restored, too," Matviyenko said adding that she would be glad to continue the dialogue with Claude Bartolone in Moscow for as far as she knew he was going to visit Russia’s capital before the end of the year.