France is being criticised by human-rights groups who say it should not have invited one of Syria's weapons suppliers at its biggest arms fair of the year.
Arms dealers and military representatives from 89 countries mixed with weapons manufacturers from around the world at an exhibition centre near Paris on Monday.
Among the guest was Moscow's weapons maker Rosoboronexport, which currently exports its arms to Syria.
Those who wanted Russia banned from this arms fair staged a brief protest outside the event.
The French defence ministry says it is funding the event but it has no control over who is invited. Its delegation at the fair will not be visiting the Russian stand.
Peter Sharp reports from Paris.