12:04 GMT +316 February 2019
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    France's Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault.

    Russia, US Need Stable Europe Despite Tense Relations - French FM

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    France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Sunday he believed that a strong Europe was in the interest of the United States and Russia, despite deteriorated relations.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Answering a question whether he believes that Russia and the United States want to undermine Europe, Ayrault said that some positions and statements laid ground for such speculation, pointing out Russia's alleged preference for National Front leader Marine Le Pen and Francois Fillon from The Republicans party instead of former Economy Minister Emanuel Macron, who is more pro-European.

    "I stress again, Russia, the United States and the rest of the world need a stable Europe, which is functioning, complies with commitments, plays its role in reaching peace in the world," Ayrault said in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

    This comes against the background of Monday statement by Richard Ferrand, the general secretary of En Marche! party headed by Macron, that tere had been "thousands of attacks against our IT systems, data bases, websites" allegedly originating in Russia. According to Ferrand, the attacks were due to Macron seeking "strong Europe in the face of Russia," while other presidential candidates have a more friendly stance toward Moscow. On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the accusations "absurd.

    Earlier in the month, Ted Malloch, US President Donald Trump’s reported pick for US Ambassador to the European Union, stirred controversy after saying that there might be another union that needed "a little taming," when he was asked during an interview on the BBC why he wanted to work in the European Union as the US ambassador.


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    relations, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Europe, United States, Russia