28 February 2013, 19:04

Hollande suggests to Putin discussing new proposals on Syria

Hollande suggests to Putin discussing new proposals on Syria

While meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, French President Francois Hollande made several new proposals on the settlement of the situation in Syria, Putin told a joint press conference with Hollande. Putin admitted that the discussion of the Syrian issue at the meeting in the Kremlin drew heated debate, the Voice of Russia correspondent reports.

"It seemed to me that this issue can't be resolved immediately without a bottle of vodka, let alone a bottle of good wine. We will have to sit and think," Putin said.

"It's better to do it over a bottle of port," Hollande responded.

Putin, in turn, said that "Mr. President made some new proposals during the meeting, which I think we could discuss with all partners and implement."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against "international terrorists" exploiting the Syrian conflict for their own ends.

"It is unacceptable for radical groups and international terrorists to exploit the Syrian tragedy for their own ends," Putin told a news conference after talks with French President Francois Hollande on Thursday.

A "barbaric terrorist attack" was carried out near the Russian Embassy in Damascus just a week ago, and "numerous people, including children, were killed and injured," Putin said. "Obviously, acts of this kind must be resolutely condemned by the entire international community."

"Despite current nuances in the positions of Russia and France, we stand for the preservation of Syria as a single democratic state, and we have a lot in common in our principles, in assessing this situation," Putin said.

The two countries have maintained fruitful political dialogue and strengthened humanitarian ties. Economic cooperation has been enriched with joint ventures and cooperation with emphasis on innovation and high technology, the Russian President said.

He described the Soyuz programme implemented at the Guiana Space Centre as a large-scale project.

France is actively participating in the development of Russian aircraft MC-21 and Sukhoi Superjet-100.

French companies are involved in such major projects as Nord Stream and South Stream gas pipelines and preparations for the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014 and World Cup 2018, Vladimir Putin said.

Putin says Russia backs France's efforts in Mali

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia backs the efforts made by France to restore constitutional order in Mali.

"We back the efforts taken by France to restore constitutional and democratic order in the country," Putin said following his meeting with his French counterpart Francois Hollande.

Among the international issues addressed in the negotiations was the situation in Mali.

Before meeting with Putin, Hollande told the media he was hoping for Russia's support of the military operation conducted by France in Mali.

6 satellites to be launched from Kourou Cosmodrome under Soyuz program in H2 2013 - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said six satellites will be put to orbit using the Russian rocket Soyuz from the Kourou Cosmodrome in French Guiana in the second half of 2013.

"Another six satellites will be put in a near-earth orbit in the second half of this year," Putin told a press conference following his negotiations with his French counterpart Francois Hollande.

"Our joint program Soyuz in the Guiana Space Center draws a lot of interest from consumers of space services, satellite operators," Putin said.

Hollande cites deal to speed up building Russian Orthodox center in Paris

French President Francois Hollande has promised that a project to build a Russian Orthodox religious and cultural center in Paris will be put into practice soon.

Hollande told a news conference after talks in Moscow with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Thursday, that the two leaders had come to agreement to simplify all of the arrangements for the construction of the center, that the project had been revised, and that the center would soon go up on Branly Embankment.

Hollande also promised to take measures to have the Russian language taught and used in France more extensively.

His talks with Putin, held in the Kremlin, lasted nearly three hours longer than planned.

 


Putin set to overcome drop in trade turnover with France

Russia and France are sufficiently adept to overcome a minor decline in economic relations of 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday at a meeting with France’s Francois Hollande.

Mr. Putin said bilateral turnover reached almost 30 billion dollars in 2012 when it suffered a blow from staggering global economy.

“Your visit is quite well-timed,” Putin told his French counterpart. “We are going to discuss these problems, and together we will find a way out. There are all preconditions for us to do that,” he said.

Hollande grateful for Russian support of France's Mali mission

French President Francois Hollande has thanked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for Moscow's "support of the military operation in Mali".

At the start of Russian-French negotiations, Hollande noted that the Russian president "supports the fight against terrorism", and Russia will hopefully contribute to efforts to turn the French operation in Mali into a peacekeeping mission.

Hollande intends to discuss transfer of power in Syria while in Moscow

French President François Hollande said he intended to discuss the issue of Bashar al-Assad's resignation as Syrian president with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

"We'll discuss this issue, and I hope we'll have a dialog on the transfer of power," Hollande said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

Hollande said that France was in favor of the resignation of the Syrian president. "Yes, this is my position and the position of whole France, and not only France by the way. We all understand that the Syrian opposition is expanding, it's becoming more and more legitimate, and it's taking some responsibility for the future of the country. And the opposition doesn't envisage dialog with Bashar al-Assad," Hollande said.

"Putin has created the circumstances, in which the Syrian opposition could enter into contact with the authorities. It wasn't that obvious a couple of months ago, but I'm glad that President Putin is agreeing to acknowledge the power of the opposition," the French president said.

Hollande said it was impossible to settle the Syrian conflict with force. The timeframe of the Syrian conflict's settlement will depend much on Putin's position on the issue, the French president said. "A lot will depend on the position of President Putin as well as on our position, of course," he said.

Hollande expects political solution to Syria conflict to be found within weeks

President Francois Hollande of France expects that a political solution to the crisis in Syria could be found within weeks.

"I think we will be able in several weeks to find a political solution, which would help put an end to escalation of the conflict," Hollande said on Echo of Moscow radio on Thursday.

France determined to observe embargo on arms supplies to Syria - Hollande

France does not intend to violate an EU embargo on arms supplies to Syria, French President Francois Hollande said. "France is keeping its word. There is an embargo imposed by Europe, and so we are adhering to this embargo," Hollande said in an interview on Echo of Moscow radio on Thursday.

"However, if some countries need weapons, you cannot rule out that other countries can ship them, sometimes not to the best hands," he said.

Part of the armed Syrian opposition is already receiving weapons, but not from France, he said. Asked whether he believes the embargo on arms supplies to Syria should be lifted, Hollande replied, "This issue needs to be discussed step-by-step."

Putin to meet with Hollande on Thursday

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet on Thursday with French President Francois Hollande, who is on a working visit to Moscow.

Putin and Hollande plan to discuss key aspects of bilateral interaction, including in the areas of trade, energy, investments, industrial cooperation in the innovations and high technology sector, and humanitarian cooperation, the Kremlin press service said.

The two will also exchange opinions on relevant international issues, it said.

The presidents are also expected to address a broad range of issues on the global and regional agenda, including interaction between Russia and the EU, the situation in Syria and Mali, and efforts against drug trafficking and international terrorism, it said.

A number of documents related to interregional, transport, investment, energy and innovation cooperation are to be signed during the visit.

This is the first time Hollande is visiting Russia as president of France.

The Kremlin notes that the relationship between Russia and France has long history, and the two countries are cooperating on a broad range of issues, with all branches of government involved.

Energy, investment cooperation to top Putin-Hollande talks

Trade, energy, investment and technological cooperation will top the agenda of today’s talks in Moscow between Russian and French Presidents Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande.

The two leaders will go over a wide range of international and regional matters, including the situation in Syria and Mali, the Russia-EU relationship, terrorism and drug trafficking.

A number of documents on cooperation in the transport, investment, energy and innovative spheres are expected to be signed. This is President Hollande’s first visit to Russia since his election in May 2012.

Hollande to seek Russia's help in troop pullout from Afghanistan

French President Francois Hollande, who is in Moscow on a working visit, is planning to ask Russia for help in a foreign troop pullout from Afghanistan.

He said so in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio. President Holland and President Vladimir Putin will meet on Thursday for talks that are expected to focus on Russia-EU relations, the situation in Syria and Mali, drug trafficking and terrorism.

A number of agreements on cooperation in the transport, investment, energy and innovative spheres are expected to be signed. This is President Hollande’s first visit to Russia since his election in May 2012.

Voice of Russia, Interfax, TASS

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