Russia, France Have Unique Chance to Extend Cooperation in All Spheres

Yesterday, July 2, while speaking at a press conference following his talk with French President Jacques Chirac, Mikhail Kasyanov, Russia's Prime Minister, said the two countries had a unique chance to extend their cooperation in every sphere. As he further said, 'We have every chance to better coordinate our both political and economic actions'. The Prime Minister mentioned high tech, including aeronautics, space, and communications, as priority areas of cooperation with France.

Important on Russian-French agenda is the extension of Russia's interaction with the European Union. Mr. Kasyanov emphasised, 'Strategic interaction with the EU is among Russia's priorities', noting that the role of France in this was considerable.

Mikhail Kasyanov touched upon cooperation between Russia and EU as concerned energy production. For instance, he said that the EU's consumption of energy resources would double by the year 2020 while 'outside Russia there was hardly any reserve to cover this increase'.

Russia's Prime Minister also said that the EU's decision as to Russia's Market Economy status better be legally completed and that talks concerning Russia's entering the WTO should keep progressing. Mr. Kasyanov added, 'The position of the EU in this is of fundamental importance'.

Important, as Russia's government believes, is the problem-free expansion of the European Union. Mr. Kasyanov said this issue was among Russia's government's sensitive topics. 'Russia and the EU', he pointed out, 'must find a mutually acceptable solution of the problem of the Kaliningrad Region'.

Mr. Kasyanov arrived in Paris on Monday, July 1, to discuss bilateral cooperation with France's leaders. Also discussed is the recent presentation of Moscow as a possible host of the EXPO-2010 exhibition. Mr. Kasyanov should return to Moscow today.

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