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Dmitry Medvedev's conversation with Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls

Transcript of the beginning of the conversation:

Dmitry Medvedev's meeting with Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls

Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Prime Minister, first of all, I would like to say that it is a great pleasure to meet you in person. This conference is not only an opportunity to discuss current security issues in Europe and the world, although that is extremely important (and I want to say right away that I was very impressed by your very detailed and clear speech), but also an opportunity to come back to bilateral relations. They have suffered over the past few years, but not so much as to consider the changes as something grave. Our Presidents have engaged in fruitful dialogue on security issues and on Ukraine. The questions of economic cooperation have not been so actively discussed of late, even though they are important for our nations. Our countries, our economies are connected. We have great many large joint projects, and we think they are highly beneficial. So I am ready to go through all the aspects of our relations. Let me say once again that I am happy to meet you.

Manuel Valls (via interpreter): Mr Prime Minister, I am happy to meet with you and to have this chance that we are going to have in a few minutes, a very clear and distinct chance. Russia is a very big country, and I think there is no need to prove the importance of relations between France and Russia. You know, I believe France has a particle of the Russian soul, and Russia has a particle of the French soul. Our Presidents frequently discuss a variety of issues, and you know that both Mr Hollande and Ms Merkel are resolved to settle the issues … We are very concerned about Russia’s interests everywhere, in all regions of the world. I think we should jointly work on the dialogue and on peace. And of course, we must jointly work on fighting terrorism, including in Syria.

I would like our economic relations to have a new boost. We used to hold regular inter-governmental meetings at the prime ministerial level, and I think they should be resumed. We should combine all the necessary efforts for that, and I hope that it will happen as soon as possible both in the economic area and in the area of trade, industry, nuclear energy, transport and agriculture, of course, I mean first of all the embargo. Thus, we have a tremendous range of issues to be discussed, and we will do it in the spirit of transparency and constructive cooperation.

This is what I wanted to say today. Let us resume our relations on the best terms and at the top level.

Dmitry Medvedev: We are completely ready for that.


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