Working Program of President Putin's State Visit to France

Monday February 10 is the first day of the Russian president's visit to France.

Vladimir Putin and spouse are coming to France from Berlin, where the head of the Russian State attended the opening of a Year of Russian Culture in Germany and held talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Arriving at the airport at about midday, Putin will change over to a helicopter and fly to one of the main objects of note of the French capital - the church of the House of Invalids, where Napoleon Bonaparte was buried.

After that, Putin will lay a wreath to the foot of Arc de Triopmhe and head for the French president's residence - Palais de l'Elysee, where he will be officially met by the French leader. He and Jacques Chirac will negotiate first tete-a-tete and then with their delegations present. Results of the talks will be summed up in a number of joint documents.

According to Sergei Prikhodko, the deputy head of the Kremlin administration, Vladimir Putin will then meet with Secretary-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Koichiro Matsuura. The meeting will be staged in the Russian president's residence in Bristol hotel.

On the evening of Monday, Jacques Chirac and his wife will host a reception in honor of Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin.

Tuesday, February 11 will begin with a meeting between Putin and Christian Poncelet, the Chairman of the French Senate.

Putin will then head for the Paris Mayor's Office to meet with Mayor Bertrand Delanoe and representatives of the Russian emigration.

After that, the Russian leader will move on to the French premier's residence in Hotel Matignon to meet with Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the head of the French government, during a business breakfast.

Leaving Matignon, the Russian president will travel to the left bank of the Seine to visit the Institute of France, the country's main official research establishment, which is rarely visited by foreign leaders. The program envisages speeches by the Russian and French presidents and by permanent secretaries of five French academies.

Moving on to Gabriel Pavilion in Champs Elysees, Putin will hold a meeting with representatives from the Association of French Entrepreneurs /an analogue of Russia's Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs/. The sides will sign a number of joint contracts. The meeting over, the president will move on to Hotel de Lassay to meet with Jean-Louis Debre, the President of the National Assembly of France.

On the evening of the same day, Putin will appear in a live interview on France's TF-1 TV channel.

On the morning of Wednesday, February 12, Putin will leave Paris and travel to Bordeaux. This particular city was chosen deliberately, since Bordeaux and Russia have had a long-standing relationship /Bordeaux and St. Petersburg are twinned cities/.

In Bordeaux, the Russian president will pay a visit to the electronic defence concern Thales Avionics, where a Russian fighter MiG-AT is in the process of improvement. Further on, he will have a business breakfast with Bordeaux Mayor Alain Juppe, the ex-French Foreign Minister.

After a trip to Saint-Emilion to view its famous vineyards, Putin will drop in at Maurice Druon's place to greet the famous writer and historian. /During a recent meeting with Putin in Moscow, Druon invited him to come see him at home./ The last item on the program of Putin's visit to France is a meeting with the French regional press in one of the castles of Bordeaux.

The president returns to Russia on the evening of February 12.

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