Author`s name Pravda.Ru

President Putin and his wife met participants in international forum

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila, who watched Romeo and Juliet at the Bolshoi on Sunday, met participants in the Youth Crossroad international forum, which is involving school students from Russia and France, in the interval.

Mr Putin wished the young boys and girls every success.

"You are having an interesting programme - a trip to Strasbourg," he said.

"I wish you all the best. I believe the French president will share my good wishes," said Mr Putin.

The president and his wife talked to the students about the ballet production. "The conflict between two families is shown as a conflict between two youth gangs. However, the producers preserved the plot, and I think it is interesting for young people," said the president.

The students asked how the idea to hold the forum had originated. Mr Putin said it was his wife's initiative.

Mrs Putin said the idea originated back 4 years ago. A similar forum of young people from the Baltic region, Baltic Star, was successfully held last year. "This series of youth forums is designed to help you develop contacts, find friends," said Mrs Putin.

Youth projects are also in the focus of the Russian president's attention. Last year, for example, he attended the opening of the Baltic Star forum.

On Monday, Russian and French students taking part in the forum are expected to visit the State Duma for a meeting with Russian MPs, reports, the Duma's PR and media contacts department.

Duma Vice-Speaker Oleg Morozov, Yekaterina Lakhova, in charge of the Duma committee on women's, family and youth affairs, and Duma deputy Alexandra Buratayeva will hold the meeting with the students.

Thirty Russian and 30 French students from 14 to 17 years of age, who have won relevant national contests and who are interested in different aspects of public, cultural, economic and political life in Russia and France, and in the problem of the expanding all European union, will take part in the Duma meeting.