Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had luncheon with French ex-President Jacques Chirac before the beginning of the official programme of his working visit to France. “We shall be glad to meet you in Moscow, in any part of the Russian Federation,” he told Chirac.
“I am happy to tell you that we have an extensive programme for today and that many things that we started together continue to develop rapidly,” Putin said. “We are on the way to beginning the implementation of the Kourou programme. Besides, we are actively developing cooperation in aircraft building. The French partners own 30 per cent of shares in Superjet-100 — one of the most ambitious joint projects in the sphere of aviation. The engines produced by our French partners are the best in Europe.”
Putin told Chirac that “the two countries began recently to develop cooperation in new spheres – the most promising and ambitious ones.”
According to Putin, a number of problems, due to be discussed during the visit, are sure to be interesting for Chirac. “Next year we shall hold the Year of France in Russia and the Year of Russia in France. Some 130 various events will be held within their framework,” Putin said.
“It is interesting for us to work on the project. I would like very much to visit Russia, if you have nothing against it, if you invite me,” Chirac said in reply. “I invite you right now,” Putin said.
After the luncheon, which Putin and Chirac began with a glass of carrot juice, Putin handed to Chirac the film “Formula of Power. Jacques Chirac. Epilogue.”