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France wishes to continue cooperation with Russia — ambassador

April 14, 2014, 19:29 UTC+3 ST PETERSBURG
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ST. PETERSBURG, April 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia and France have stated their shared willingness to help lessen tensions in Ukraine.

“We have diverging views on the events that are happening in Ukraine,” French Ambassador to Russia Jean-Maurice Ripert said on Monday. He was speaking at the opening ceremony for a new office of the French consulate-general in St Petersburg.

But there are also things the two countries share. “What brings us together is that we want tensions to be reduced in Ukraine and calm to prevail there,” he said.

“We believe that Ukraine should not be torn apart between Russia and Europe. We should settle the crisis together and return the strength to the Ukrainian economy,” Ripert said.

“I’m an optimist. I’m hopeful that a four-party meeting on Ukraine (within the Russia-US-EU-Ukraine format) will be held and will find a solution to the problem,” he said.

In addition, he said, “France wishes to continue cooperation with Russia. It is our fundamental partner despite the current difficulties.”

In June Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit France to attend the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, Ripert said.

Russia will take part in the D-Day parade on the Champs Elysees on July 14. “Our common future will be based on the brotherly relationship,” the French diplomat said.

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