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    Paris Mulls Developing New EU Security Framework Involving Russia - French Envoy

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    VLADIVOSTOK (Russia) (Sputnik) – Paris wants to cooperate with Moscow on a number of issues, including in the UN Security Council, despite the existing differences between France and Russia, French Ambassador to Russia Sylvie Bermann told reporters on Thursday on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

    “President Macron is holding a very honest dialogue with the Russian party … At the same time he finds it very important to develop relations between Russia and the European Union, between Russia and France … We have some differences but even if we disagree on some issues, Russia is a very important partner in the UN Security Council and it is very important to boost this dialogue,” the ambassador said.

    “France is undoubtedly interested in boosting cooperation with Russia,” the ambassador said adding that French President Emmanuel Macron wanted to develop the new security architecture in Europe involving all the partners including Russia.

    Moreover, France wants to further develop economic cooperation with Russia, Sylvie Bermann told reporters on Thursday.

    “We have made the second biggest investments [among EU countries] in the Russian economy in 2017. France is also one of the biggest employers in Russia. The trade between Russia and France is highly dynamic, it increased by 26 percent … We want to further develop our cooperation,” Bermann said. The ambassador also pointed out that France focused on cooperation with small and medium businesses.

    READ MORE: Russia Considers France Among Major Partners in Europe

    Meanwhile, Paris hopes that Russian President Vladimir Putin would also accept the invitation of his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to visit France in November, French Ambassador said.

    On Tuesday, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that Putin had not made a decision on the possible November visit to France, which will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

    France Plans to Increase Investment Into Russian Economy

    President of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Emmanuel Quidet said Thursday on the sidelines of the EEF that France was the biggest investor in the Russian economy in 2014-2016, adding that Paris is going to keep this tendency.

    “There are no forecasts on reduction of investments in Russia within next two years. Vice versa, I believe that the European investments and, particularly, the French ones will increase,” Quidet said. “We will further increase the volume of our investments within two years,” Quidet added.

    Russian media has reported earlier that the French trade and investment mission in Russia, which shut down in July, could resume its work on the basis of a different organization. In particular, the Business France government agency may launch a tender to find an organization to represent its interests in Russia by the end of the fall.

    READ MORE: French MP on Putin-Macron Talks: 'France Needs Strong Alliance With Russia'

    According to the media reports, the exact terms and conditions of the tender are not clear yet, but such organizations as the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce or French business center Maison des entrepreneurs francais (MEF) are expected to be able to submit their proposals.

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    economy, investment, cooperation, security, 2018 Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), Emmanuel Quidet, Sylvie Bermann, EU, France, Russia
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