President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President,
It gives me pleasure to welcome you to Moscow to continue discussing the important problems before us today, above all, of course, settlement of the Georgian-South-Ossetian crisis and implementation of the principles that the President of France and I agreed on a month ago now.
This has been an intense last month during which the necessary efforts for settlement [of the Georgian-South-Ossetian conflict] have been undertaken in accordance with the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan.
Other important events have also taken place: the Russian Federation has recognised the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. There are some new approaches we will have to follow in moving forward in accordance with the plan that we approved.
We will discuss all of these issues during our colleagues’ time in Moscow.
Once more, I welcome our colleagues and repeat that we are ready to discuss every issue.
President of France Nicolas Sarkozy (retranslated from Russian): Mr President, I want to thank you for receiving us. I have come here with Mr Barroso, Mr Solana, and Mr Kouchner, and we are here on behalf of the European Union, of a single united Europe, a Europe that wants peace.
I agree with President Medvedev in that our starting point is the agreement we reached. And it is this agreement that must be implemented. I must say that Mr Medvedev and I worked hard. We called each other numerous times and had many meetings. I have no doubt that if each of us behaves as we should, we will reach a solution.
I want to say to our Russian friends that President Barroso [President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso] and I bear the hopes of 27 countries. What do these countries want from Russia? They want peace, trust and good relations. Just like our Russian friends, we want to stand up for our convictions. The European Union has its principles and convictions too. Now it is time to start work.