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    The French Senate (the upper chamber of the Parliament)

    "France Wants Frank, Demanding Dialogue With Russia" - French Lawmaker

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    PARIS (Sputnik) - No major international issues can be resolved without Russia, Christian Cambon, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Senate, French parliament's upper house, said Thursday.

    "No major international issue can be resolved without Russia… We want to have with our Russian counterparts a frank dialogue, a dialogue without ambiguity, a demanding dialogue. In our report, we demand from Russia to respect international law. We also touch upon cultural, economic and technological convergence," he said, as quoted by the Senate's press service.

    Following the meeting, Cambon told reporters that Russia should play a greater role in resolving international crises and countering terrorism.

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    "We believe that Russia plays and should play a much greater role on the international arena and in resolving crises, which concern the world, as well as in the joint fight against terrorism," he said.

    However, the French-Russian divergences on several issues, like Ukraine and Syria, should not be avoided, he noted.

    Earlier on Thursday, a delegation of Russian lawmakers, headed by the chairman of the Russian upper house's Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev, arrived in Paris, where a joint meeting of the foreign affairs committees of France's Senate and Russia's Federation Council was held. A joint Russian-French report on relations between the two countries was presented at the meeting.

    French-Russian relations have been deteriorating over the past years. France does not recognize the reunification of the Crimean peninsula with Russia, imposing several rounds of sanctions against Moscow. It also condemns Moscow for supporting the Syrian government in its fighting against opposition factions and terrorist groups.

    The relations have further deteriorated after on March 26 France, expressing its solidarity with the UK, announced the expulsion of four Russian diplomats. The move is connected with the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom, blamed on London on Moscow, despite lack of solid evidence.

    The Russian side, in its turn, denied all the accusations and took the reciprocal steps, expelling four French diplomats from the country.

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