Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,
Once again I am happy to welcome you to Moscow. I am glad to note that Russian-French relations are on the rise. From the time of our meeting in Paris last October we have seen a significant increase in contacts both in the economic and political spheres.
A characteristic feature of the development of the relations between the two states today is the growing involvement of civil society in inter-state relations. In this connection the intention of the two sides to create a non-governmental council to promote bilateral relations is a logical continuation of what has been done recently, and it deserves support.
We hope that the arrival of such a representative delegation in Moscow will yield a positive and quick result for promoting the links between our countries.