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Putin: Russian and French fundamental interests come first

May 29, 19:34 UTC+3

According to him, direct French investments in the Russian economy grew by $2.5 billion last year

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© EPA/ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL

VERSAILLES, May 29./TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said fundamental interests of Moscow and Paris are more important than the current political situation.

"I am confident that fundamental interests of Russia and France are much more important than the current political environment," he said at a news conference after talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The Russian leader stressed that none out of almost 500 French companies operating on the Russian market have left. According to him, direct French investments in the Russian economy grew by $2.5 billion last year, while trade grew 14% Trade grew more than 23% alone in the first quarter of this year, he noted.

Putin said they had also discussed humanitarian cooperation, a need to boost youth exchanges. The president drew attention to the fact that quite a lot of people in Macron’s team speak Russian.

"This is really encouraging," the president noted.

"I hope we will have more supporters here, people who understand and feel us, and with whom we will be able to discuss pointedly things that are of mutual interest for us," Putin added.

Bilateral relations 

Russia and France see possible points of contact on key issues of the international agenda and they can move forward to the solution of existing problems, the Russian president said.

"The trade turnover is recovering and we’ve been looking for ways and points of contact on key issues of the international agenda and it looks like we see them and we’re able to move forward by common efforts or at any rate to try and begin to move together to resolution of key problems of the day," Putin said.

When a reporter asked him if he could point out any encouraging aspects in Russian-French relations, Putin said his visit was timed for the 300th anniversary of Peter the Great’s trip to France.

"This trip was a notable event in bilateral relations, so there’s really something to point out," he said. "And here we are, marking the 300th anniversary of the drip."

"If there’s a wish to mark something, we’ll always find an occasion to be marked," Putin said smilingly.

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