President Vladimir Putin: <…>
France is one of the main shareholders in the European EADS Group. We have already said that the acquisition of a stake in EADS by one of our banks is not a step towards some kind of hostile takeover. This is absolutely not the case. We are ready for constructive cooperation and we are hopeful that our companies will be able to reach an agreement on just such cooperation.
If agreements are not reached, then our financial institutions will simply work with these securities on the stock market, and nothing more than that. But I think that meaningful cooperation would be a lot more useful and interesting for manufacturers here in Russia and for our European partners.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy: We are very pleased that you have raised this issue, Mr President, because we have two major aircraft manufacturing companies in our country, and we would be very happy if Russian companies were to buy our Airbus 350 planes. I am not saying this because I represent Toulouse.
Furthermore, we are very interested in Russia’s Beriev aircraft, and we are requesting European certification for them at the moment. It would be good to create a whole fleet of these Russian aircraft in order to fight summer fires.
Mr President, permit me to say that, in your speech in Munich, we very much liked the approach you took regarding the issue of the risks linked to immigration, especially from the poorest countries to the industrialised countries. In particular, you raised the issue of healthcare and all the possible consequences we could face. In general, the ideas you expressed in this respect are very close to the vision of our President, Mr Chirac.
Regarding the G8, we discussed this issue this morning with [First Deputy Prime Minister] Sergei Ivanov, and we welcomed Russia’s successful presidency [of the G8]. We hope that Germany will be just as successful, and we hope that the G8 will examine issues regarding Africa, the fight against AIDS, and energy issues.
French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie: As far as our cooperation in the aircraft manufacturing industry is concerned, we have been working a lot in this area together with Mr Sergei Ivanov. We have strengthened our cooperation over the last years. We are very interested in Russian heavy helicopters.
Sergei Ivanov: Our MI-26 helicopters.
Michele Alliot-Marie: The French army is very interested in these helicopters. We are also interested in reconnaissance aircraft, in unmanned aircraft. We are likewise interested in new-generation aircraft. I think that our designers could work together and this would give a real boost to our cooperation.
We discussed the issue of unmanned aircraft this morning and I think that we could work together on these projects and make real advances.
Sergei Ivanov: During lunch today we discussed our economic cooperation, above all in high-technology areas. We focused particularly on three areas – aviation, space, and information technology. At the moment, space is clearly leading the field as far as our cooperation is concerned. In two days time work will begin on building the installations for launching the Soyuz 2M launch vehicle — which will operate within the framework of Russian-French cooperation and Russia’s cooperation with the European Union.
We also have promising projects in the areas of manned space vehicles and new launch vehicles. Furthermore, we also discussed today the possibility of future cooperation on the ground-based segment of GLONASS and Galileo.
Vladimir Putin: I hope that we will reach agreements on a number of other promising areas for cooperation, including the energy sector, during Mr Chirac’s visit to Russia at the end of March. We already have some ideas and proposals to make.