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French-Russian Relations: A View from Moscow

Notes de l'Ifri 41, 2002, 84 p., 8 €. Forward by Dominique David

(original French title: Les Rapports russo-français vus de Moscou). This 'Note' is based on interviews of Russian academics, experts and diplomats. It shows the manner in which post-Cold War Russians preceive France-Russia bilateral relations.

Distributed by la Documentation française (text in French).


This 'Note' consists of three parts. The first outlines the points of agreement. Many analysts agree that bilateral relations have deteriorated since Putin's election, but that they have improved since autumn 2000. According to these analyses, the principle cause of difficulty is French criticism on intervention in Chechnya.
The second part outlines numerous differing and isolated opinions. Debates that are taking place among experts are examined. The main debate is without doubt the importance of the European Union in security matters. Some analysts put forward several suggestions to improve bilateral relations: developing bilateral structures, creating a Franco-Russian forum, establishing a permanent EU/Russia structure for military questions and a three-way mechanism(EU/NATO/Russia).
The third part of the 'Note' criticizes the analysts' contributions. It considers that ideological debris alter some of ther perceptions of reality. Some of the analysts have not yet bid farewell to Russia's status as a superpower. And the islamist threat is overplayed in order to expose Western contradictions in security matters.
In his foreword, Dominique David tries to define the possible design of future bilateral relations, especially after the September 11th attacks.

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