President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Mr President, dear Nicolas!
I am glad to welcome the French delegation to the Kremlin. I would like to thank you for coming and participating in resolving this complex problem.
And at the beginning of our conversation I would like to inform you of a decision which I took a few hours ago. The operations which were carried out by a reinforced Russian peacekeeping brigade have ended because the goal that we set for ourselves has been achieved. The aggressor has been punished and its armed forces are disorganized. And most importantly, we have protected the interests of Russian peacekeepers and Russian citizens living in South Ossetia.
We can now discuss issues relating to a final settlement of the problem, a settlement that rests, as we have said, on seeing the following two conditions fulfilled. The first is the withdrawal of all Georgian troops to their initial positions as well as the partial demilitarization of these military formations. And the second condition is the signing of a relevant legally binding agreement abjuring the use of force. Issues that the French party has worked on as well.
I hope that we can have a productive discussion on these issues. And I am very happy to see our French friends in the Kremlin.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (as translated from the Russian): Mr President, dear Dmitry!
Thank you for meeting with me and Bernard Kouchner [French Foreign Minister].
We are meeting after three long telephone conversations yesterday and the day before yesterday. I came to Moscow as President of the Council of the European Union. Europe believes that Russia is a great power and can understand that the past decades have been difficult for Russia in a world which needs Russia for its peace and security.
And of course I am also thinking, dear Dmitry, about the other issues on which we are working very closely with your Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, including on the Iranian nuclear issue. Russia should use its power in favour of peace and that is why I came to Moscow.
You can solve the problem in two ways: either by looking at the past, but we will not find a solution there, or looking to the future as we try to find a solution. The fact that the Russian side has ended its military operations is the news that we expected. You told me about this and I think that this is good news. Now we need to truly implement a ceasefire. We must draw up a sequence of events so that all parties return to their initial positions.
It is absolutely understandable that Russia wants to defend the interests of its country, its own citizens and Russian-speaking people outside Russia. And of course it's understandable that the international community wants to uphold and ensure the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of Georgia.
Yesterday France gave you a document. I propose that we work on this document together. We hope that our Russian friends have understood that what France wants and what Europe wants is peace. And we will spare no effort to achieve this goal. We are ready to make these efforts.
And, as you saw, I have not listened to all those who said that we should not come to Moscow. On that point I want to say that it seems to me difficult to resolve crises if people don't talk to each other.
Dmitry Medvedev: Nicolas, you have done the right thing in coming. I told you yesterday by phone that only by taking a proactive approach can we be successful in this matter.