The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and international problems, particularly the situation in Syria.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I am very pleased to see you.
It’s been only a short time since our meeting in Moscow, and I recall our substantive discussion of our bilateral relations and international problems.
I would like to note that we are moving forward on all our agreements, but there are certainly elements causing a certain amount of concern – first and foremost, the slight but nevertheless notable decrease in our trade volume.
And I am very happy for the opportunity to meet with you on the sidelines of the G8 summit to discuss these problems, as well as other issues, and map out our joint steps for overcoming these difficulties.
President of France Francois Hollande (retranslated): Thank you, Mr President, for this new meeting. A few weeks ago, we met in Moscow following your invitation.
Today, we are meeting within the framework of this summit. I would truly like to have this exchange of views before we begin working concretely – first of all, in order to assess our bilateral relations. As you already said, we signed several agreements, but we must go even further. You know that these are very important issues.
In addition, we talked about having a greater volume of mutual investments. We must do everything possible in order to increase them. I would also like for these discussions to flow smoothly between the European Union and Russia, because I certainly support this initiative very enthusiastically.
Furthermore, we will discuss many international issues, including, of course, Syria. We already talked about this in Moscow. We had several ideas on settling this conflict politically. Since our meeting in Moscow, the situation has become even worse, but I think we will have the opportunity to discuss this issue.
As you know, Russia and France have very deep relations based on historical roots, so I would do everything to ensure that these relations continue to improve, even if we have certain disagreements regarding some international matters.
As for the presidential elections in Iran, I would like to hear your point of view on this subject. I think these elections can serve as a new beginning, a new starting point if Iran so desires and if it has the aspiration and desire for it.