Russian President Vladimir Putin:
Dear Mr Prime Minister!
Dear colleagues! Good afternoon!
I greet you warmly. I am very pleased to welcome you to the Kremlin.
You are visiting our country not only as a French politician and statesman but also as a literary figure. We know and understand this.
I must say that state activities, at least from a Russian perspective, are developing in the best possible way. The level of trade between our countries is growing each year by approximately 30 percent. We have excellent prospects in the energy sector, in the space sector, in aviation, and in infrastructure in general.
We have created a good mechanism for highest-level cooperation concerning international issues, security issues, and the struggle against terrorism. I am confident that your visit will help bilateral ties become even stronger. In addition to our bilateral relations we see France as our reliable partner in developing relations between Russia and the European Union. I am glad that we will have the opportunity to compare notes on several topical international issues such as the Middle East and the Iranian nuclear dossier. We are in permanent contact with the President of France concerning this issue. And I am very pleased that today we will have the opportunity to exchange opinions on these problems with the Prime Minister of France.
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin:
Mr President, thank you for meeting with me today. First of all I would like to pass on President Chirac's very best wishes. And you should also know that President Chirac is very much looking forward to meeting with you soon at the G8 summit in St Petersburg.
You have already mentioned Iran, the Middle East, Iraq and so on. And we would like to deepen our partnership relations with your country.
Considering the difficulties that face us today, I think that we must pay attention to the sensitive nature and originality of religious, national and other characteristics. This is necessary in order to build a fairer, more stable world.
You said that we must cope with a number of significant economic challenges. In addition, today we are witnessing increased competition between states. Considering the fact that new actors have entered this game, as a whole this represents new challenges.
I am glad that today Russia and France have given a new stimulus to their economic partnership. Of course, this especially concerns the most advanced technology-I am referring to technology used in outer space, nuclear energy, aviation and so on. We realise all of this.
Therefore we agreed with the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation that it is necessary for our economic systems to complement one another. Of course we hope that this cooperation develops not only between major companies but also at the level of small and medium businesses so that we can all work for the benefit of the partnership that unites us.