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Putin to discuss with Macron how to improve bilateral relations

May 26, 16:20 UTC+3

Moscow also believes that the state of trade between Russia and France is unsatisfactory

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French President Vladimir Putin

French President Vladimir Putin

© AP Photo/Michel Euler

MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Russia considers as unsatisfactory current political, trade and economic relations with France and the ways of their improvement will be discussed at a meeting of Russian and French Presidents Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron on May 29, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said on Friday.

"We proceed from the fact that with regard to bilateral issues, the presidents will discuss the state of political contacts, which do not satisfy the Russian side," Ushakov said, noting that the inter-governmental Russian-French commission at the level of the prime ministers, the inter-parliamentary commission and the Council on security cooperation were not working.

Moscow also believes that "the state of trade [between Russia and France] is unsatisfactory," the Kremlin aide said.

"That is, the state of political, trade and economic relations, as we believe, will be discussed [at the meeting]," Ushakov said.

According to the Kremlin aide, "the trade turnover has halved over the past three years from over $22 billion to over $13 billion."

"It is true, though, that slight growth was observed in the first quarter but the trend has not yet been reversed towards its positive development," Ushakov said.

"That is, the state of political, trade and economic relations, as we believe, will be discussed [at the meeting]," Ushakov said.

One more joint structure, the Council for Economic, Financial, Industrial and Trade Issues (CEFIC) continues its work. Macron co-chaired this Council on France’s behalf as the economy minister until August 2016, the Kremlin aide said.

On Russia’s behalf, the commission is headed by Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin. Moscow expects France to determine who in the new Cabinet will represent the country in the Council, Ushakov noted.

Commenting on Russian-French economic interaction, the Kremlin aide said that 180 French participants were expected to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that would be held on June 1-3. Also, as part of the forum, a Russia-France business dialogue is planned with the participation of leading entrepreneurs from both countries, Ushakov said.

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