02:07 GMT28 February 2021
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    French lawmaker and member of the legislative defense committee, Nicolas Dhuicq stated that the French position on the Syrian crisis as well as on the situation in and around Ukraine remained the biggest constraints for improving bilateral ties between France and Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Little progress with regard to bilateral relations was made during recent talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron due to France’s unchanged stance on topical foreign policy issues and international crises, French lawmaker and member of the legislative defense committee, Nicolas Dhuicq, told Sputnik, while adding that the meeting did send a positive signal with regard to prospects of a new dialogue.

    During the talks in Versailles on Monday, the two leaders discussed bilateral relations and the most pressing issues on the international agenda, particularly the situations in both Ukraine and Syria.

    "I think they made a small progress. It is not a kind of result I was expecting. It is a very good sign but even if we create new structures for dialogue, if we at long last start sharing information and even if we also start cooperate on Syria, nevertheless, the official speech in France is still the same," Dhuicq said.

    The lawmaker stressed that the French position on the Syrian crisis as well as on the situation in and around Ukraine remained the biggest constraints for improving bilateral ties between France and Russia.

    "France’s position is still not practical on Syria: talking about democracy, without taking into account the fact that groups, who are fighting with the Syrian government, are not moderate but, in fact, Islamist groups. Concerning Ukraine, even if there is a will to renew dialogue, Macron still repeats an official position, that Russia does not respect human rights," Dhuicq elaborated.

    During their meeting, Putin and Macron agreed to increase the number of scientific, cultural and youth exchanges, with the French leader proposing the establishment of a French-Russian forum of civil society. The two leaders also discussed the situation in Syria and expressed their intention to create a working group on countering terrorism.

    Additionally, the French and Russian presidents discussed human rights issues, specifically the alleged violations against the LGBT community in the southern Russian region of Chechnya, and agreed to jointly monitor the situation.


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