Sergei Ivanov said France is the leading European Union country in terms of supply of agricultural produce to the Russian market. While Russian-French relations are currently “experiencing problems”, nevertheless, Mr Ivanov said, “crises come and go, while relations between nations maintain their long-term historical nature.”
In turn, Mr Mariani said that together with a French parliamentary delegation he brought a Message of Friendship to Moscow. “The signal we would like to send here is that within the political world of France, regardless of their party affiliation, there are people who believe that relations between our countries should remain at the same level,” said the co-chair of the French-Russian Dialogue Association.
Speaking of the sanctions introduced by the European Union against Russia, Mr Mariani said many members of the delegation to Moscow were opposed to them. The sanctions were “a decision never taken by the French Parliament”, but were introduced by the European Commission in Brussels, the French parliamentarian said.
According to Mr Mariani, “France and many other countries in Europe are deeply involved in cooperation with Russia.” As examples, he referred to agriculture, transportation and space exploration. “The majority of people in France regret what is happening, they are against it and would like to develop relations with Russia,” said member of the French National Assembly Thierry Mariani.