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PARIS, June 27. /TASS/. China will not be able to replace Russia in Europe, Jean-Pierre Chevenement, a special adviser to the French Foreign Ministry for relations with Russia and former French Defense Minister, said on Monday at a seminar "Possible directions of the Russian-French cooperation in the nuclear power industry" underway in Paris.
"I have always been confident that the partnership between Europe and Russia is inevitable and necessary for both sides. I have always thought that the words that Russia is independent of Europe and Europe - of Russia are funny," he said. "Overall, China cannot substitute for cooperation between Russia and Europe."
Chevenement added that he is optimistic about future cooperation between the two countries.
"Despite the fact that we often act as rivals, we perfectly complement each other. I look into the future with optimism. I hope that sanctions will be lifted and, despite the decision taken in Brussels, I think that these sanctions are counterproductive for both Russia and the EU," he said.
Chevenement added that the nuclear power industry is an important area of cooperation between Russia and France.
"The nuclear power industry is only part of the Russian-French cooperation. However, this part is important, because the nuclear energy, among other things, creates a large number of jobs for a variety of specializations and qualifications," he said.