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Official website of the President of Russia

Transcripts   /

The Start of a Meeting with President Jacques Chirac of France

April 11, 2003, St Petersburg

Vladimir Putin: Mr President,

First of all, I would like to thank you for responding so promptly and agreeing to this meeting, these informal consultations. International problems remain very acute, including Iraq, but there are also many bilateral issues which I would like to discuss very briefly, at least the issues of political interaction and improving the mechanisms of this interaction.

We have a massive economic programme, worth 2.5 billion euros, of cooperation with the EADS. The use of the Kourou space site is still on the agenda. The Federal Chancellor will be present here. The German position will depend on how fast we move on that project.

In short, I am very glad to see you. Welcome.

Jacques Chirac: Thank you, Mr President. I am happy to be here in St Petersburg with you and Chancellor Schroeder at your invitation.

I think the international situation warrants such a meeting. As you have said, the situation around Iraq and the situation in the Middle East require our attention. I think we should also consider the measures to be taken to effectively control the spread of certain types of weapons.

In addition, the European Union – Russia summit will be held in several weeks’ time. You know the significance the Europeans attach to the relations between Russia and the European Union. I think that we will have a good summit in connection with the 300th anniversary of St Petersburg. Of course we should organise it all well.

In addition, I think the three of us will discuss the G8 meeting.

You have said that bilateral relations are excellent. I think these relations are constantly growing stronger in areas such as space, the aviation industry and energy. We welcome it.

So I hope that there will be bilateral and multilateral progress. I think we should follow the path of thorough coordination and protection of our common values and principles.

(In Russian) Thank you very much.

April 11, 2003, St Petersburg