Russia should be a partner for Europe in order to jointly tackle a terrorist threat and other international challenges, French presidential candidate Francois Fillon said on Monday.


“Russia should be a partner for the European nation, we need it in particular for countering a terrorist threat. We should not reveal weakness to our Russian partner, we have common interests which should be protected jointly. I want open relations with Moscow based on trust and which clearly indicate mutual aspirations,” Fillon said in a speech delivered at the Konrad Adenauer foundation.


Fillon stressed that it was necessary to avoid the situation of permanent confrontation, including “sanctions and threats,” since the common priority was to combat “the Islamic totalitarian regime.”


On Sunday, Fillon said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper that Moscow’s actions in Syria helped to avoid the triumph of Daesh terrorist organization, banned in Russia and other countries, and called for a new economic partnership with Russia.