23:50 GMT +319 February 2019
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    (File) People walk past the French embassy in Moscow on November 10, 2017

    Moscow Surprised By France Closing Trade Mission in Russia - Foreign Ministry

    © AFP 2018 / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV
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    The French Embassy in Russia announced earlier on Monday it had been notified by Russian authorities that Business France was not allowed to carry out its activities in the country anymore.

    Addressing the issue, the Russian Foreign Ministry denied that France had informed authorities about the closure, adding that Moscow had ordered Paris to solve problems with Business France.

    "If the decision to close the trade mission of France was adopted, then it is clear that this is desire of the French side. We are opting for developing trade relations," the Foreign Ministry added.

    READ MORE: France Wants to Become Leader in Foreign Investment in Russia — Macron

    According to French officials, the director of the service had earlier been expelled despite his diplomatic status, with his bank account also being blocked.

    "The French authorities have decided to close the service of the Embassy of France that supports the activities of Business France in Russia," the embassy's press release read.

    The service added it would be relying on its "non-governmental partners" in order to protect the French business in the country.


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