President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, dear friends,
I am very pleased to see you and to welcome you to Moscow.
France is unquestionably Russia’s long-standing preferred partner. Our political relations have been developing successfully and we often consult on international issues. Our economic relations are developing too.
It’s true that the year before last our trade figures were good: turnover was around $28 billion, almost $30 billion. Last year it was somewhat reduced due to general problems in the global economy.
I think that your visit is very timely. We can discuss all the issues related to these problems and outline the joint efforts we will take to remedy the situation.
We have every possibility to do so. We are actively cooperating in the fields of road transport, rail transport, energy, pharmaceuticals, and a number of other areas. And the volume of accumulated French investments in Russia is significant: they amount to more than nine billion euros. In general, we have much to talk about.
We are very happy to see you.
President of France Francois Hollande (retranslated): Mr President, I am grateful to you for the invitation.
You invited me to Russia back in June and it took me several months to come here. But I am here today, and I think that this bears witness to the quality of our relationship.
Our relations are well-established and we are linked by common historical roots. We are both major powers and members of the UN Security Council. We hold a great responsibility, particularly for the settlement of certain international conflicts. We must work together to combat terrorist threats throughout the world.
”France is unquestionably Russia’s long-standing preferred partner. Our political relations have been developing successfully and we often consult on international issues. Our economic relations are developing too.“
Even though our relations are very good and profound, I think that they can be broadened and strengthened further. We have a great deal of potential and I believe that our cooperation is very promising.
You noted that there are fields in which it would be possible to extend our cooperation and I completely agree with you on this point. This will further help our exports which started to grow again.
I came here accompanied by the CEOs of French companies, and I met with representatives of French companies who have been active in Russia for several years now, because I would like these relationships to expand further. At our very first meeting and later you told me that we should further expand our cooperation.
We’ll talk more about this over the next few hours and, with the active involvement of our ministers and our special envoy to Russia, Mr Chevenement, we will do everything required to further strengthen our relations.
You mentioned a few areas for prospect cooperation and those in which we currently cooperate, namely energy, transport, healthcare and the cities of the future, environmentally sustainable cities. I think that we can certainly extend and strengthen our cooperation on all of these issues.
You mentioned French investments in Russia and their volume really is quite impressive. There are also Russian investments in France. But we would like to see the amounts invested grow even more. We must use all possible methods and ways to increase the quantity of French investments in Russia and Russian investments in France.
But before we talk about this in more detail, I would like to offer my personal thanks. First of all, for helping us withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, since this was a responsibility I undertook. I undertook the responsibility to withdraw our troops by the end of 2012 and of course this was carried out thanks to your help and assistance, as well as with the help of other friendly countries.
From their very inception you supported our military operations in Mali. And naturally you understood the issue at hand, the global component of the fight against terrorism. I know that Russia will contribute to transforming this mission into a peacekeeping mission in the coming weeks.
Today I would like to emphasise once again that despite certain current differences of opinion, we share general principles, the most important general dispositions about the world. Indeed, we both value the principles of independence, sovereignty, security and stability throughout the world.
We are both big, strong countries. We have strong historical ties, and I think we share responsibilities for the future.