14 May 2020 21:21

Russian, French defense ministers discuss anti-coronavirus measures, arms control

MOSCOW. May 14 (Interfax) - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his French counterpart Florence Parly had a telephone conversation on Thursday to discuss bilateral military cooperation, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

"The sides discussed measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease Covid-2019, bilateral interaction in the military area, and arms control," the Defense Ministry said in a press release received by Interfax.

"The ministers exchanged views on the situation in the European continent, the situation in the region of Middle East and North Africa, also synchronizing watches on the implementation of agreements reached at the Moscow meeting held in the 2+2 format last September," it said.

"Shoigu proposed organizing, before the end of this year, a work of Russian-French interagency expert groups on security matters, and preparing plans regarding an exchange of military college students in order to develop relations in the area of military education, and also planning a visit by a ship of the French Navy to a port in the Russian Federation and a visit by a Russian naval ship to a port in the French Republic," it said.

Shoigu also confirmed the invitation for French experts to take part in the Army-2020 international military-technical forum and the International Army Games in August-September 2020.

"Following the conversation, the heads of defense ministries of Russia and France have agreed to continue dialogue on matters if mutual interest," the Russian Defense Ministry said.