Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has urged the West not to isolate Russia in the face of complex challenges like the crisis in Syria.
Addressing the Moscow Institute of International Relations, Sarkozy said on October 29, "Without Russia, one cannot meet the great challenges of this world."
Russian President Vladimir Putin's global role is "more positive than negative, despite our differences," he added.
Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, later met Putin outside Moscow.
"The world needs Russia," Sarkozy said, adding that Russia and Europe have to "work together" to end current tensions, particularly in Syria.
Sarkozy, who is hoping to return to the French presidency in 2017, was in Moscow with a delegation of his party, The Republicans, as Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine has plunged Moscow’s ties with the West to lows unseen since the Cold War.