France to 'strengthen' relations with Russia despite sanctions

France to 'strengthen' relations with Russia despite sanctions - ảnh 1
French Finance Minister Emmanuel Macron. Photo:
AFP/Fabrice Coffrini

(VOVworld) – France’s economy minister Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that France was working to strengthen its relations with Russia in spite of Western sanctions imposed against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis. Macron, who arrived in Russia for a two-day visit, told the press following his talks with his counterpart Alexei Ulyukayev that his visit is not focused on diplomacy but shows the strong desire to preserve and even strengthen diplomatic relations while respecting the sanctions in the current political and diplomatic framework. He said that Paris hoped EU sanctions imposed against Russia for fuelling the separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine would be lifted this summer, adding that it was very important for both economies to intensify relations and move forward pragmatically. Macron said France is seeking guarantee from the US to avoid possible sanctions from Washington once French banks invest in Russia’s Yamal gas project.