Putin calls on Hollande to mend ties to help trade

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged his French counterpart François Hollande to restore ties that have been undermined by tension over Ukraine. For his part Hollande told Puting to ensure there the peace accords were implemented.

Putin calls on Hollande to mend ties to help trade
Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande arrive into the Genocide memorial, on April 24, 2015 in Yerevan. Photo: AFP

President Vladimir Putin on Friday called on French leader Francois Hollande to restore ties after a year of tensions over Ukraine as the two leaders met on the sidelines of genocide commemorations in Armenia.

"Unfortunately, our ties are not in the best shape, trade turnover is falling including with France which only causes regret," Putin told Hollande in the Armenian capital Yerevan.

"I believe that we have to look for ways to restore our ties and I believe that it's in everyone's interest," he said, signalling Kremlin's desire to break out of international isolation.

Hollande for his part called on Putin to "move forward" with implementing the Ukraine peace accords struck in February.

"The best way to overcome what has hindered us would be to move forward with the application of the Minsk agreement."

In February, Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel travelled to Moscow to help broker a peace deal for war-torn Ukraine in a last-ditch effort to stop months of fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Kiev forces.

Despite the ceasefire deal, European observers say both sides still exchange fire in eastern Ukraine.

The conflict has killed more than 6,000 people in the past year and displaced a million, according to the United Nations.

Ukraine earlier Friday accused Russia of resisting a peaceful end to the conflict.

Putin and Hollande were also set to discuss the shelved deal for two French-built Mistral-class warships estimated at €1.2 billion ($1.5 billion).

The delivery of the first of two warships has been suspended for six months over Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict, straining ties between Paris and Moscow.

Hollande said this week that France would reimburse Russia if it fails to deliver the vessels

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Russia announces no New Year’s greetings for France, US, Germany

US President Joe Biden, France's Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will not be receiving New Year's greetings from Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Friday.

Russia announces no New Year's greetings for France, US, Germany

As the world gears up to ring in the New Year this weekend, Putin sent congratulatory messages to the leaders of Kremlin-friendly countries including Turkey, Syria, Venezuela and China.

But Putin will not wish a happy New Year to the leaders of the United States, France and Germany, countries that have piled unprecedented sanctions on Moscow over Putin’s assault on Ukraine.

“We currently have no contact with them,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“And the president will not congratulate them given the unfriendly actions that they are taking on a continuous basis,” he added.

Putin shocked the world by sending troops to pro-Western Ukraine on February 24.

While Kyiv’s Western allies refused to send troops to Ukraine, they have been supplying the ex-Soviet country with weapons in a show of support that has seen Moscow suffer humiliating setbacks on the battlefield.