Former French Foreign Minister (1997–2002) Hubert Vedrine noted the importance of building relations with Russia before U.S. President Donald Trump does it.
“It is necessary to re-open our relations with Russia, without waiting for Trump, who, if re-elected, will re-launch the dynamics between the US and Russia, without taking into account the interests of Europe,” Vedrine said.
The ex-minister added that “the goal repeatedly formulated (by the President of France), Emmanuel Macron, is to again” connect Russia with Europe “and thus correct the inconsistent Western policy that has pushed Russia to China.”
Vedrine noted the importance of cooperation between Russia and France in the military, nuclear, space and digital fields, in the greening of the economy, as well as in the fight against Islamic terrorism.
“It is necessary to restore, starting practically from scratch, the policy of arms control and balanced disarmament,” the politician said.
Vedrine also praised the initiative for a meeting between Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin. “This is a very useful attempt to get France and, if possible, Europe out of a hopeless situation, out of a vain war of positions that has been waged for many years,” he said.
According to him, “the date chosen by Emmanuel Macron for this gesture is very timely: he will receive Vladimir Putin right in front of the G7 in Biarritz.”
On Monday, August 19, a one-day working visit of the President of Russia to France will take place at the invitation of Macron. The meeting of the two heads of state will be held at the official summer residence of the French presidents in southern France, at Fort Bregancon.
Negotiations are planned as part of small delegations, in which Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov and Ambassador to Paris Alexei Meshkov will take part on the Russian side. Tête-à-tête talks and a press conference of the leaders of the two countries are also planned.
The G7 summit will be held in French Biarritz on August 24-26, Russia has not been participating in this format since 2014.