Following the terrorist attack at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, which claimed lives of 12 people, a rally of solidarity with the French people was held in front of the country's embassy in the Russian capital last week. The action was attended by dozens of people who brought the flowers and candles to the embassy building.
"I was very thrilled and in no way surprised," Ripert told Rossiya 1 broadcaster.
"We [the Russians and the French] like arguments, discussions, but we also have a great respect for human life. We are old friends, but perhaps we have now become brothers and sisters more than we have been before," Ripert said.
Charlie Hebdo massacre, which took place on January 7, was the first in a series of terrorist attacks in Paris. On January 8, a female police officer was shot dead by a gunman in the Paris suburb of Montrouge. The following day, the suspected gunman killed four hostages in a kosher supermarket.
On January 11, over 3 million people, including around 40 world leaders, have gathered on the streets of France commemorating the victims of three consecutive terrorist attacks that struck the country January 7-9.