04:13 GMT02 April 2020
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit France on May 29 and hold a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, who assumed office less than two weeks ago.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — Earlier this week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the agenda of talks would be wide-ranging, including bilateral cooperation, coordination of efforts in the fight against terrorism and the settlement of crises in Syria and Ukraine.

    On May 8, Putin congratulated Macron on winning the second round of the election in a phone conversation and confirmed his readiness for constructive joint work on topical issues on bilateral, regional and global agendas.

    Issues for Discussion

    According to Peskov, during their first meeting, Putin and Macron will get acquainted and exchange views on the key problems and issues, including regional conflicts.

    "You know, the agenda is, in fact, obvious. First, the two presidents should get acquainted, this will be their first meeting. Second, Russia and France have a very extensive agenda of bilateral relations: these are trade and economic cooperation projects, cultural interaction, and so on and so forth," Peskov said when asked about the agenda of the upcoming talks between the two countries' leaders.

    The spokesman added that the sides would exchange views on the key problem issues on the international agenda, chiefly "well-known" regional conflicts.

    New Stage of Relations?

    Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Orlov called the upcoming meeting in an interview with Sputnik "an essential visit."

    "I will not use the word 'historic,' though, who knows, maybe it will be really historic, because it is a new beginning of our relationship. This is the first meeting with the new president — the president, who, as it seems to me, will go down in history as a major statesman, who wants to return to France its national grandeur and wants France to be more independent in international affairs, like it was during the leadership of Gen. Charles de Gaulle and Francois Mitterrand," Orlov said.

    According to Orlov, there is much in common between Putin and Macron, and the two presidents should reach arrangements and understand each other.

    Good News

    Thierry Mariani, a lawmaker from the French center-right The Republicans party and an incumbent member of the French parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, called Putin's visit to France in an interview with Sputnik "very good news."

    "It is a very good news for me, as it means that the relations are being restored. The situation in the France-Russia relations was catastrophic in the end of [Francois] Hollande's presidency," Mariani said.

    According to Mariani, the fact that the presidents' meeting will take place so quickly following Macron's victory is the first step toward normalizing relations.


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