13:22 GMT +326 June 2019
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    French President Emmanuel Macron (R) speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) in the Galerie des Batailles (Gallery of Battles) as they arrive for a joint press conference at the Chateau de Versailles before the opening of an exhibition marking 300 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries in Versailles, France, May 29, 2017

    French MP on Putin-Macron Talks: 'France Needs Strong Alliance With Russia'

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    On Monday, Macron and Putin held their first official meeting at the Versailles Palace, focusing their discussion on bilateral relations and key international issues, particularly the situations in Ukraine and Syria.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The recent meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin is an indicator of France's transition away from the "degraded" bilateral relations established during the presidency of Francois Hollande and is a step in the right direction toward the creation of a much-needed alliance with Moscow, Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, a member of the European Parliament who represents a political coalition of right-wing parties set up by France's National Front party leader, told Sputnik.

    "After a degraded relationship between France and Russia during the presidency of Mr. Hollande, it [the meeting between Macron and Putin] is a very positive signal for our country. France needs a strong alliance with Russia," Schaffhauser from the Rassemblement bleu Marine (Marine Blue Gathering) alliance, said.

    Schaffhauser expressed his hope that Macron, following his meeting with the Russian president, would take an independent stance on the ongoing international conflicts, especially the one in Ukraine.

    "Now, President Macron has to take clear position in the important issues for Russia and France. I wish that he would not follow the German position on current conflicts, in particular on Ukraine. France needs its own voice in that matter," Schaffhauser added.

    Apart from working together on the settlement of international crises, France and Russia share a wide range of fields, in which cooperation could be mutually beneficial, including the food industry, space, defense and energy sector, Schaffhauser noted.

    On Wednesday, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said that following the talks between Putin and Macron, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the possibility of holding a meeting to address, among others, such issues as terrorism and the Syrian crisis.

    Related:

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    France's Unchanged Int'l Agenda Led to Little Progress at Putin, Macron Talks
    Putin's Visit: Macron Seeks 'To Ensure Equilibrium' in Relations With Russia
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    Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron, France, Russia
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