The French Senate and its President Gerard Larcher have been making active efforts to improve relations with Russia that Moscow appreciates, First Deputy Speaker of the Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Nikolai Fyodorov said at a press conference on the sidelines of the 20th meeting of the Association of European Senates in Paris.
"We are grateful to the French senate for the role it plays and its mission to not only preserve but also boost multifaceted dialogue with Russia’s parliament, including the Federation Council," he said. "Russia very much appreciates what the French Senate and Mr Larcher are doing to maintain fruitful relations. [Federation Council Speaker] Ms Matviyenko sent her greetings to him, pointing out that our relations had reached a rather high level," Fyodorov is quoted as saying by TASS.
In this regard, he pointed out that Russian-French trade had grown by 12% in 2018, exceeding $17 bln. "I think that cooperation between Russian and French senators has also made a contribution," he noted.
Fyodorov added that Gerard Larcher had been invited to visit Russia. He noted that Matviyenko maintained contact with Larcher, who is "Russia’s partner and friend."
"Clearly, not everything depends on the Senate president," Fyodorov said. He was hopeful that French President Emmanuel Macron would succeed in getting along with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in the future. "We wish him success in overcoming the difficulties France is facing and accomplishing the tasks he set for himself," the Russian senator said.