Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande noted that historically Russian-French relations have always been multifaceted and stressed they would do everything necessary to ensure that they are not overshadowed by the crisis in southeast Ukraine.
In addition, the two presidents noted that continued sanctions against Russia in fact had a damaging effect on all the parties concerned.
Vladimir Putin once again expressed his deep condolences to François Hollande on the tragic death in a plane crash of Total CEO Christophe de Margerie.
* * *
Beginning of meeting with President of the French Republic François Hollande
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,
It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to meet with you on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.
For a very long time relations between France and Russia have been not only good, but also useful and mutually beneficial.
Today there are many turbulent developments in world affairs and our positions do not always coincide. This makes this opportunity to meet and discuss all these issues even more important. I believe we should do everything to minimise the risks and negative developments in our bilateral relations.
President of France Francois Hollande (retranslated): Mr President, Vladimir,
I am also very happy to have this opportunity to meet you on the sidelines of the G20 Summit; I have been looking forward to it.
Relations between Russia and France have truly been very good for many years and we have good economic and cultural exchange. I believe we will not be affected by this turbulence in the world for long.
Our duty, as we said on June 6, is to do everything possible to resolve the current world crises: in Ukraine and other places.
Today we have been discussing economic growth, employment and economic activity. One of the reasons economic growth is not renewed as quickly as we expected is the international situation.
Russia and France bear their responsibility. They must take part in resolving these issues, and after June 6, we have been making significant efforts in this direction.
We will continue what we have been doing together with [Federal Chancellor of Germany] Angela Merkel and with the Ukrainian President [Petro Poroshenko]. France is ready to take part in these efforts, but only on one condition – we have to achieve tangible results.