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.
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.