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French minister comments on Macron-Putin talks

May 29, 11:15 UTC+3 PARIS

Russian and French Presidents Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron are expected to hold talks on May 29

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French Minister for European Affairs Marielle de Sarnez

French Minister for European Affairs Marielle de Sarnez

© AP Photo/Christophe Ena

PARIS, May 29. /TASS/. Russian and French Presidents Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron are expected to have important and frank talks on Monday, France’s Minister for European Affairs Marielle de Sarnez told BFM TV.

"I’m sure that the talks of two presidents will be candid and direct. Should we cooperate with Russia? The answer is yes. We need to cooperate in the war on terror and in space sector," the minister said.

However, the two countries have different stances on a range of issues, she said. "First of all, this is Syria and Ukraine. But this means that talks on these issues should be held. Of course, this won’t allow settling all the differences, but the talks are needed."

Speaking on the sanctions against Russia, Marielle de Sarnez noted that they were introduced over events in Crimea and Ukraine. "There is the need now to estimate if the Minsk agreements are being implemented in full. I don’t have this impression at the moment," the minister said.

"The current sanctions will be lifted if Russia changes its position," de Sarnez said. "We have no forbidden issues, this is the necessary condition for holding explicit and clear talks," she said.

On Monday, Macron will receive Putin at the palace of Versailles, the residence of France’s leaders. The two leaders are expected to focus on the Ukrainian and Syrian crises and on the fight against terrorism.

The meeting is timed to coincide with unveiling of a grand exhibition at the royal palace dedicated to the 300th anniversary of Russian Czar Peter the Great’s visit to France in 1717, which paved the way for long-standing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

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