“In the interests of Russians and the French” – what was agreed at Versailles?

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May 30th, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

RT Russian – translated by Inessa Sinchougova 

During the meeting at Versailles, the Presidents of Russia and France discussed bilateral relations, as well as a wide range of international problems: coordination of actions in the fight against terrorism, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the conflict in the Donbass and the Syrian settlement. During a press conference after the talks, Macron stressed that Syria’s debate should be conducted “with all parties to the conflict, including with representatives of Assad.” 

French position

The President of France, who spoke first, said that the Paris priorities in relations with Moscow are the observance of human rights, particularly in regard to the LGBT community, cultural and civil dialogue between the two countries, the de-escalation of the situation in the combat zone in the Donetsk Basin and the settlement of the conflict in Syria. Special attention of the French leader was paid to humanitarian issues – a tribute to French traditions. France has consistently put the protection of human rights as the cornerstone of its official foreign policy.

Priorities of Russia

President Putin marked the hierarchy of Russia’s priorities in relations with France: bilateral economic cooperation, the potential positive contribution of France in talks on Syria and Ukraine, and the joint fight against terrorism. 

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Differences remain

The two presidents did not hide the fact that, in spite of the dialogue, the differences between them remain. There are fundamentally important differences between Russia and France in regard to the Ukrainian crisis. . On the other hand, there is certain progress by the West in understanding the essence of the current Ukrainian regime.

Give dialogue a chance

“I would rate these results with moderate optimism, because presidents have found a common ground, on which further dialogue can be built”, comments Pavel Timofeev, RT researcher at the Department of European Studies at the Institute of International Relations and World Economy. The most important value of the meeting, the expert said, is not whether there was something accepted or not accepted, but that the Presidents showed an attitude of cooperation, coordination, and the desire to create expert groups to resolve an acute situation. “This shows the desire of Russia and France to cooperate constructively, relying on means of cooperation, rather than differences,” – said the expert.

“The path of negotiations will be very arduous and very difficult. French leadership initially declared a very tough stance on Syria, Ukraine, and sanctions on Russia, but the fact that the negotiation process has begun – this is an important step in continued dialogue” – says Igor Ignatchenko, Deputy Head of the Department of General History. 

It is noteworthy however, that Macron did not deny the creation of new sanctions against Russia ‘should the conflict in the Donbass worsen. ‘

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