17 June 2013, 19:44

Hollande says Syria crisis has got worse, wants to discuss this with Putin

Путин Олланд g8

French President Francois Hollande said during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on the fringes of a Group of Eight summit that the situation in Syria had deteriorated since the two leaders last met in Moscow.

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While Cameron, Obama, Barroso and Van Rompuy had Press Conference about TTIP Vladimir Putin had meeting with Francois Hollande.

"We have all our agreements are moving forward, but there are few things that cause some concern", - Putin said at this, explaining that he has in mind, in particular, a reduction in bilateral trade.

President François Hollande in conversation with Putin decided to raise the problems of world politics. Hollande expressed the view that the elections in Iran can be a starting point for a new phase of development of this country.

"I believe that elections in this country could become a new starting point in its development, if Iran will have the appropriate desire and the will," - said Hollande

Francois Hollande also said to Vladimir Putin that he would like to talk "about Syria, in particular, to discuss the ideas of the settlement of the conflict that we have discussed already during my recent visit to Moscow. France and Russia have close historical relationship, and I will do everything to ensure that these relations have been developed"


Hollande expressed hope he and Putin would be able to discuss the Syria issue at their meeting, which was held on Monday.

The French president also said Russia and France have long-standing friendly relations and that he was willing to do everything under his control to make them better despite differences between the two countries on some points.

Vladimir Putin and French President François Hollande meet at G8 summit

The upcoming meeting between the presidents of Russia and France scheduled to take place in Loch Earn is seamlessly integrated into the active political dialogue conducted by Moscow and Paris on a wide range of issues that involves representatives of all branches of government. That will be the third meeting between the two leaders (previously, they met on June 1, 2012 in Paris and on February 28, 2013 in Moscow). The active political dialogue reflects the joint intent of the two leaders to further deepen the relationship of strategic partnership.

The regular meetings in Moscow and in Paris that take place between the Russian and French foreign affairs and defense ministers, within the framework of the Cooperation Council for Security Issues, demonstrates the high level of trust between the two countries. The next round is to take place in Russia in the coming fall. The round will be preceded by a meeting of the joint working group on meeting new challenges and threats. The Russian and French presidents agreed to launch this new type of consultations on such issues as fighting against drug trafficking, international terrorism, transnational organized crime and piracy during the Moscow negotiations in February 2013.

Interparliamentary relations are actively developing as well. At the end of June a delegation will visit France from the Russian State Duma, headed by Elena Mizulina, focused on the issues of the family, women and children. In July Elisabeth Guigou, president of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the French National Assembly, will visit Moscow. A delegation representing the friendship group with the French Senate headed by Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Federation Council, is to visit Paris.

Vladimir Putin and François Hollande plan to pay special attention to the evaluation of the progress made on the fulfillment of the agreements in the areas of business and trade.

One of the main results of the Moscow summit that took place last February, as the stated by the two leaders, was the priority given to the development of close industrial cooperation and joint production facilities, the expansion of regional cooperation as well as the creation of investment and technological alliances.

A good amount of work has already been done to set up such cooperation in a number of areas. For example, in the automotive industry that includes Avtoframos plants (Moscow), Peugeot Citroen (Kaluga), Renault Trucks Vostok (Kaluga region) and the joint venture between AvtoVAZ and Renault Nissan (Tolyatti).

In the aviation industry that includes the Superjet-100 project, component production for Airbus aircraft on the basis on JSC Irkut, as well as the sale in the European markets of the Russian amphibian Be-200 aircraft. In the area of helicopter construction, the joint cooperation includes the engine production for the Russian helicopters between the JSC Helicopters of Russia and Turbomeca.

In the area of transportation equipment manufacturing, JSC Transmashholding and Alstom have set up a joint venture in Novocherkassk in order to develop new models of rail rolling stock for the Russian railroads. They also carried out a joint project in a third country by building a new plant for the production of electric locomotives in Kazakhstan.

In the pharmaceutical industry production of insulin and anti-cancer drugs has been set up at the Sanofi Aventis Vostok plant in Orlov region.

In the area of innovation and high technology the most important is the Soyuz program at the Guiana Space Center, as well as the work of the Starsem joint venture (six Globalstar system satellites were launched from Baikonur on February 6, 2013) and the cooperation between the Russian JSC Information Satellite Systems – Reshetnev Company and the French company Thales Alenia Space in the area of spacecraft design.

The energy sector plays an important role in the bi-lateral trade relations.

The Russian-French cooperation in the area of natural gas goes back 35 years – during that period Russia had supplied to France 330.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas, including 8.04 billion cubic meters in 2012. Gazprom and EDF are working on a new direction of their cooperation – gas-based power generation.

Such French companies as GDF Suez (with a 9% share in North Stream) and EDF (with a 15% share of South Stream) significantly contribute to the construction of the North Stream and South Stream pipelines.

The companies NOVATEK and Total are working on a pilot project to create a liquefied gas production facility on the Yamal peninsula. In summer 2012, the construction of the largest Arctic port in the world, Sabetta, began on Yamal, which will serve to transport energy resources along the Northern Sea Route. The estimated cost of the project is 18-20 billion USD.

The nuclear area also offers attractive prospects. In 2012 the volume of trade in this area exceeded 1 billion USD. Among the largest projects is the joint construction project between Rosatom and EDF to build units 5 and 6 at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria. The two companies are jointly investigating the opportunities to design a fourth generation reactor based on fast neutrons.

It is planned that the state of affairs in the area of investment will be one of the main discussion subjects at the meeting. The total amount of accumulated French investment in Russia comes to 9.8 billion USD. Russia is taking part in 35 investment projects in France. About 1 billion USD of Russian capital is invested in France.

One of the successful Russian investment projects is the organization by Russia's Uralvagonzavod of a parts production plant for railcars and locomotives on the basis of the French Sambre et Meuse plant. The amount of Russian investment is 36 million USD. The Russian company is planning to acquire two more plants.

At the meeting of the Russian and French presidents with the business circles of the two countries during the February visit to Moscow of François Hollande, the management of JSC RZhD announced the acquisition of 75% stake of the logistics operator of the PSA Peugeot Citroen (GEFCO) automotive concern worth 800 million USD.

Recently the French Foreign Investment Agency set up the Russian Investors' Club in France, which is to play a positive role in building a close cooperation between the Russian investors and the French companies seeking investment.

The joint steps taken in order to improve the business cooperation are to lead to the growth in the volume of trade, which over the past few years has steadily grown: in 2009 – 17.1 billion USD, in 2010 – 22.55 billion USD and in 2011 – 28.1 billion USD. However the 2012 crisis in the euro zone led to a decrease of 13.6% (to the level of 24.3 billion USD). Based on the results of the first quarter of 2013, the volume of bi-lateral trade dropped by 12% against the same period of 2012 and amounted to 5.5 billion USD. At present, France is in the 12th place among the leading foreign trade partners of Russia.

The preparation for the 18th session of the Intergovernmental Commission at the level of the heads of the governments scheduled for November 1 in Moscow. The meeting of the Russian-French Council for economic, financial, industrial and commercial matters (CEFIC), scheduled for September 2013 in Paris, will focus on the further development of the cooperation in the space industry, nuclear power generation, pharmaceuticals, as well as the fulfillment of joint projects in the area of energy, automotive industry and the development of transportation infrastructure.

Cultural ties have traditionally taken an important place in the Russian-French relations. In the course of the upcoming meeting it is planned to discuss the issue of Russian language study in France. The heads of the two states, as well as their governments pay special attention to this issue. The French Ministry of Education included the Russian language in the list of foreign languages recommended for teaching in primary schools. Beginning in 2014 it is planned to introduce the teaching of Russian in the first grade along with eight other foreign languages. New jobs have been created for Russian language teachers in secondary schools. About 13.5 thousand pupils take Russian in French secondary schools.

News release circulated by Russian Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov.

Voice of Russia, IF


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