October 23, 1944 – Restoration of diplomatic relations
February 7, 1992 – France recognizes the Russian Federation as successor to the USSR
Russian-French contacts began on August 5, 1717, when the first Russian ambassador, sent by Tsar Peter I of Russia, presented his credentials to King Louis XV of France. France responded by sending its first ambassador to Russia, Jacques Kompredon, in September 1721. Since then, relations were fairly constant between the two countries, although they were severed and restored many times. Overall, relations between France and Russia have been very close, and French was even considered the unofficial second language of Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Relations between the two countries were severed in 1733 with the start of the War of the Polish Succession and resumed in 1738. Poor relations between the revolutionary government of France and the Russian Monarchy led to relations being severed in 1792. The Napoleonic Wars marked the start of new conflicts between Russia and France, which were not restored until the conclusion of the War of the Second Coalition between Russia and France in 1800. The War of the Third Coalition in 1805 led to the disruption of diplomatic relations once again, which were not restored until the signing of the Treaty of Paris on November 20, 1815. Russia and France conflicted over different views following the Revolutions of 1848 and the French support of revolutions in multinational countries. This led to the Crimean War on March 27, 1854, which ended with a Russian defeat on March 30, 1856. Relations between the two countries improved after that, and remained uninterrupted until the October Revolution.
French Prime Minister Édouard Herriot sent a telegram to Alexey Rykov, the President of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, on October 26, 1924, informing him of the French recognition of the establishment of the Soviet Union. When Germany declared war on the Soviet Union on June 30, 1941, the Vichy France government broke off diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. Relations were reestablished on October 23, 1944, with the Soviet recognition of the new Provisional Government of the French Republic. Since then, relations between the new nations remained unbroken, although they were cold at times during the Cold War.
After the breakup of the Soviet Union, relations with France and the new Russian Federation were warm, and France recognized Russia as the successor of the USSR on February 7, 1992. The current Russian ambassador to France is Alexander Konstantinovich Orlov.