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Putin arrives in Marseille to head to summer residence of Macron for talks

The two leaders will discuss not only bilateral relations but also Russia's relations with the EU amid the renewal of the leadership in the European governing bodies

MARSEILLE, August 19. /TASS/. The plane of Russian President Vladimir Putin landed in Marseille. Next he is to travel by helicopter to Fort Bregancon, the summer residence of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Located near the town of Bormes-le-Mimosas on the Mediterranean coast of Provence, this ancient fortress received many world leaders. Now, for the first time in its history, it will host the talks between Russian and French Presidents.

According to Russian presidential aide for international affairs, Yuri Ushakov, the agenda includes not only bilateral relations. Russia attaches particular importance to the development of relations with the EU amid the renewal of the leadership in the European governing bodies.

Ushakov noted that Putin personally plans to touch upon this topic, especially since Russia has repeatedly expressed its readiness to intensify the political dialogue with Europe.

According to the Kremlin official, considering that France is to chair the Council of Europe at the upcoming negotiations, the two leaders are likely to discuss Russia's participation in various events sponsored by the Council.

The leaders of Russia and France will also talk on a wide range of sensitive issues on the international agenda. In particular, they will focus on the situation in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Iran. Ushakov said that it was planned to discuss the prospects of a new summit in the Normandy format. However, despite the change of leadership of Ukraine and France’s repeated initiatives to hold such a meeting in the near future, Russia considers it reasonable to convene the Normandy Four only if all details of the meeting are worked out in advance in order to achieve concrete political results during such negotiations and not to waste time.

As for the Syrian settlement, Putin and Macron will have the opportunity to discuss a new four-party summit on Syria. The situation around Iran and its nuclear program also remains relevant.

Paris attaches particular importance to the dialogue with Moscow. The two leaders are to hold talks five days before the G7 summit, which is chaired by France.

According to Ushakov, the summit will be a logical continuation of regular contacts between Putin and Macron.