Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron Hold Joint Press Conference

© Sputnik / Alexey Nikolsky / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron
Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron - Sputnik International
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French couterpart Emmanuel Macron met in Palace of Versailles to discuss bilateral relations. After the talks the two presidents gave a press conference.

"Today we celebrate the 300 anniversary of Peter the Great's visit to the Palace of Versaille," President Macron told journalists.

Macron on Relations With Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron (left) meeting at the Grand Trianon of the Versailles Palace in Paris, May 29, 2017 - Sputnik International
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None of the pressing issues that the world faces today can be resolved without dialogue with Russia, French President Emmanuel Macon told journalists.

"What is important in our common history which celebrates 300 years today, is a dialogue between France and Russia that has never stopped… None of the most important challenges we face today can be resolved without the dialogue with Russia. That is what permits us to shape the common future," Macron said during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"On this day, we expressed mutual respect," the president added.

France has reaffirmed its independence after the presidential election. We've discussed all issues which can help us to understand each other better, Emmanuel Macron said.

French President Emmanuel Macron characterized the exchange of views with Russian President Vladimir Putin as open and frank.

"It was a first exchange of opinions, I think it was very open, honest, we have told many things to each other. I shared my views concerning a number of situations… I think that we have told everything each other," Macron said at a press conference after the meeting with the Russian leader.

France and Russia will create a bilateral forum of civil society, French President Emmanuel Macron said after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We also wanted for our civil society representatives to have closer ties, a constructive dialogue and more exchanges. There already is such a mechanism between Germany and Russia. We would like to take the same path, for the youth, the economic structures, the scientific circles to get closer, to organize a French-Russian forum of civil society. We will do it and we will call it the 'Dialogue of Trianon,'" – Macron said at a press conference after the meeting.

France and Russia can have their differences but dialogue is essential for progress, including on the issue of Syria and Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

"There are things on which we disagree, but we expressed them. And above all, we discussed ways to conduct our joint actions. We want to act together, because if we don't create the conditions for that, if we have no open dialogue we will not be able to advance on the issues I mentioned. Sometimes disputes may arise in such a dialogue… but if we don't reach it, we will not be able to move forward either on the issue of Syria nor of Ukraine," Macron said at a press conference.

Macron on Cooperation With Russia on Syria

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron attends a meeting with the media after a session of the Russian-French Council for economic, financial, industrial and trade issues in Moscow, Russia, January 25, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Our absolute priority is fighting together against terrorism. "We will work on this issue together with Russia," Macron said.

"We will share information from the ground to work together to improve situation in Syria," Macron said.

However, France would give an immediate response in case of chemical weapons use in Syria, President Emmanuel Macron said.

"We outlined two major principles that I confirmed in our discussion with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. First, that a very clear red line should exist: the use of the chemical weapons, no matter who does it. Any use of the chemical weapons will be followed by an immediate response – at least on behalf of France. I also hope that we can exchange useful information and work together to evaluate the situation on the ground," Macron said during a joint press conference with Putin.

Syria’s disintegration as well as deterioration of the situation in the Middle Eastern region should be prevented, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

"We cannot allow disintegration of the Syrian state, and deterioration on the situation in the region," Macron said.

However, the opening of the French embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus is not a priority for France, Paris will not insist on this, the country's President Emmanuel Macron said.

"For us, it is not a priority to open our embassy in Damascus. I will not insist on this. I need the clear road map to establish peace on this territory and stabilize the situation," Macron said after the talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Paris.

Macron on Situation in Ukraine

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French President Emmanuel Macron said he discussed with Russian leader Vladimir Putin the implementation of Minsk accords, adding that new talks on the situation in Ukraine in the Normandy format should be organized.

"We also discussed the details of the implementation of the Minsk agreement. I expressed our desire to have a new exchange [of views] in the Normandy format with Germany and Ukraine, so that the full plan of this meeting can be shared and implemented, and so that the Normandy format permitted us to have a full access to the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] report, which ensures an important security measures in the region. This is the process which has to continue," Macron said.

Emmanuel Macron also said after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the leaders agreed to intensify the Normandy Four format talks on Ukrainian crisis settlement, about which German Chancellor Angela Merkel will shortly be informed.

"We agreed, and I will shortly, in the coming hours, inform the German chancellor that we want to activate the Normandy format, as well as holding talks in the presence of the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe]," Macron said.

The Normandy Four format talks on the settlement of the Ukrainian military crisis, that started in 2014, are carried out by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany.

Emmanuel Macron also discussed with the Russian President situation with LGBT community in Chechnya.

President Putin on Relations With France

President Putin has thanked the French President for inviting him in this beautiful Palace.

"We talked today mostly about our bilateral relations. We've discussed different issues, we've tried to find a common ground," Vladimir Putin told journalists.

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"Despite all difficulties and all restrictions, french businesses remain in Russia," Putin said.

French companies are interested in expanding economic cooperation with Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference after talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

"French business continues to work actively in Russia. I will remind you that none of the nearly 500 French companies has recently left Russia, despite all the difficulties and economic restrictions. Moreover, we see the interest of our French friends in the expansion of economic interaction," Putin said.

The president also said that Russia and France should increase the number of youth exchanges.

"We agreed that, of course, it is necessary to increase youth exchanges, more students from Russia should study in France and from France — in Russia, to study history, culture, languages of the peoples of our countries," Putin said.

The two pressidents discussed the need of cultural exchange. "I believe that more people here are ready to cooperate with us," Putin added.

On Cooperation in Syria

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Russian president Vladimir Putin said he and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed at Paris talks on Monday to set up a working group on discussion of issues of fight against terrorism.

"We agreed that the most important task of today, our common task, is the fight against terrorism," Putin said at a joint press conference with Macron following the talks.

"Mr. President [Macron] suggested setting up a working group, joining delegations that could visit both Moscow and Paris, and in practical terms to establish cooperation in fighting the terrorist threat that is certainly extremely dangerous for us and for European countries, including France," Putin added.

The two presidents also discussed situation on Korean peninsula, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron will look for solution of the nuclear problem in the region.

Putin has also invited Macron to visit Russia.

On Le Pen's Visit in Russia Ahead of Presidential Election

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French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that he would not comment on the visit of Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's right-wing National Front (FN) party and Macron’s rival during French presidential election, to Russia in March.

"It is not up to me to comment on the visit of Madame Le Pen in March. The sovereign people of France made a decision in the election, and [the French people] did not vote in favor of the National Front candidate," Macron said.

President Putin in his turn said that Marin Le Pen has always advocated development of relations with Russia, "but we did not try to influence French election."

"We are always ready to receive any person," Putin said.

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