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French FM Says Russia Agrees To NATO Talks After Summit


French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says Russia has agreed to hold a Russia-NATO Council meeting after the alliance holds its July Warsaw summit.

Ayrault said after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris on June 29 that Russia wanted to meet after the NATO summit so that Moscow could evaluate "the decision taken there."

NATO members are expected to approve new plans at the July 8-9 summit aimed at dealing with a more assertive Russia since Moscow seized and annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

Ayrault said he wanted transparency with Russia about the summit, which he said he didn't want to be "confrontational."

The United States, Britain, and Germany have said they will deploy more troops to Poland and the Baltic states to ease fears among NATO's easternmost members of an aggressive Russia.

Lavrov and Ayrault also discussed relations between Russia and the European Union and the possible consequences of the United Kingdom leaving the EU.

Ayrault and other French leaders have recently expressed the hope of improving French-Russian relations.

The French National Assembly also recently approved a nonbinding resolution calling for a lessening of EU sanctions on Russia.

Based on reporting by TASS
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