21:34 GMT +306 December 2019
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    France Should Improve Ties With Russia Before Trump Does the Same - Ex-French Foreign Minister

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Former French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine has said it is important to improve Paris’ relations with Moscow before US President Donald Trump boosts Washington’s ties with Russia.

    "It is necessary to again discover our relations with Russia without waiting for Trump who, if re-elected, would again give an impetus [to relations] between the United States and Russia without taking Europe’s interests into consideration", Vedrine said in an interview with Le Figaro, published on Friday.

    The former foreign minister recalled a goal, repeatedly voiced by French President Emmanuel Macron, to bring Europe and Russia closer, thus mitigating the West’s "inconsistent policies" that have pushed Russia toward China.

    Vedrine continued by noting the importance of France’s cooperation with Russia in defence, nuclear, space and digital industries, in making the economy greener and in fighting against Islamic terrorism.

    "We should restore, practically from scratch, the policy of arms control and balanced disarmament", Vedrine argued.

    On Monday, Macron is expected to receive Russian President Vladimir Putin during the latter’s one-day visit to the south of France.

    Vedrine gave a positive assessment of Paris’ efforts to hold the high-level meeting. Vedrine explained that Macron chose the right date for the talks — ahead of the G7 meeting, planned to be held in the French city of Biarritz on 24-26 August.

    The Kremlin has said that during the upcoming talks Putin and Macron plan to discuss bilateral cooperation, the Ukrainian crisis, the conflicts in Syria and Libya and the Iran nuclear deal, among other topics.

    Relations between Russia and the European Union worsened in 2014 when Crimea rejoined Russia as a result of a referendum, which was not recognised by the West even though Moscow has insisted that the vote was carried out in line with international norms. The bloc then introduced economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russia prompting Moscow to retaliate by introducing a food embargo on products from the states that have imposed restrictions on it.

    relations, Donald Trump, Russia, France
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