12:04 GMT +316 July 2018
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault during a meeting in Moscow

    French-Russian Ties Positive Despite International Turbulence - FM Ayrault

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    French Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault said Paris-Moscow relations remained positive in economic, scientific and cultural spheres despite the turbulence in the international arena.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — France's relations with Russia remain positive despite the turbulence in the international arena, Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault said on Tuesday.

    "Despite the challenges we face on the international agenda, they were always positive in different spheres — economic, scientific, cultural," Ayrault said during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

    Relations between Russia and the European Union member states, including France, went downhill in 2014, when Brussels joined Washington in accusing Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis and imposed several rounds of sanctions as a punitive measure.

    The Russian authorities have refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive. In response to the Western restrictive measures, in August 2014, Russia announced a one-year food embargo on some products originating in states that imposed sanctions against it. The ban has since been extended for another year.

    In January, French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry Emmanuel Macron said France hoped that the anti-Russia sanctions would be lifted this summer.

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    Jean-Marc Ayrault, Sergei Lavrov, Russia, France
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