STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday it was vital to continue talking to Russia despite major differences with Moscow on Syria, but there was no point discussing unless talks were “frank and firm”.
“With Russia, France has a major disagreement on Syria and the Russia veto on the French resolution at the U.N. Security Council has prevented the cessation of bombings and enablement of a truce,” Hollande said in a speech at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
“I consider it is necessary to have dialogue with Russia, but it must be firm and frank otherwise it has no place and it is a charade. I‘m ready to meet President Putin if we can make progress on peace.”
Reporting By Gilbert Reilhac; writing by John Irish; editing by Ingrid Melander