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Official website of the President of Russia

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President Vladimir Putin answered questions posed by Russian journalists

October 31, 2000, Paris

The President informed the media about the results of his talks in Paris.

Speaking about the Middle East peace process, Mr Putin noted that the positions of Russia and the European Union on the issue were close, and he also stressed the need for the Middle East peace process to be more effectively mediated, including with the participation of Russia and the EU.

Another key topic in the talks was the Kosovo situation. The President stated that the parties had failed to reconcile their positions on the issue, and despite various options for granting the province autonomy, Russia would support a single Yugoslavia.

Speaking about Russian-EU relations, Mr Putin was confident that the mechanisms were in place for effective implementation of long-term cooperation programmes worked out during the Paris consultations. Russia would have to do a lot to stabilise its domestic and economic situations, pass a number of laws and, most importantly, ensure that they were obeyed.

Reflecting on the Russian-French talks, President Putin said that the dialogue with Jacques Chirac, Lionel Jospin and French Parliamentary leaders had been very positive. Mr Putin said that he had invited the French President to visit Russia, and noted that the Russian delegation had received a very warm welcome in Paris.

The President also informed the media about the signing of an agreement between Russia’s Gazprom and Gaz de France, which could bring Russia $1–2 billion in investment.

October 31, 2000, Paris