The leaders of France, Germany and Russia have met in a mini summit billed as an ‘exchange of ideas’ by host Jacques Chirac. The main topics of discussion were the security of Russian energy supplies to Europe, and Moscow’s involvement in European aerospace group EADS. Russian President Vladimir Putin assured the EADS consortium that the recent 5% share purchase was not an aggressive move, but merely a play in the share market. He also insisted that Russia was a reliable energy source and that Europe could benefit from new reserves that would last 50 to 70 years.
President Chirac insisted that the talks were not an effort to exclude others, but was the latest in a series of three-way summits between the countries:
“This traditional meeting will allow us to develop the economic partnership that exists between Russia and the European Union.”
Putin echoed his counterpart’s feelings:
“We hope that the desire to reinforce cooperation between the EU and Russia, as expressed today by my French and German colleagues, will help us to accomplish the tasks we’ve already set.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also spoke of mutual benefits:
“We discussed how any cooperation, especially cooperation in the field of energy, can be structured. I believe it must be based on the fact that we are reliable partners, and that there is an interest in common advantages, that’s what you call a ‘win-win-option.’”