“President Hollande suggested measures to close the Turkish-Syrian border to stop the flow of militants and finances to terrorists. It’s remarkable that President Obama didn’t react to it. I believe it’s a good suggestion and that during the visit tomorrow President Hollande will tell us details. We are prepared to consider these measures in earnest. Many people say that sealing the border would effectively eliminate the terrorist threat in Syria.”
Lavrov : Downing of Russian Su-24 Looked Like a Planned Provocation
Meeting with President of France Francois Hollande
Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin with President of the French Republic Francois Hollande, who is in Russia on a working visit.
During the talks, the two leaders discussed counterterrorism efforts and a number of other pressing issues. Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande also exchanged views on the entire range of bilateral issues.
The meeting took place in a narrow format, and later, the two leaders were joined by their delegations. Following the talks, the two presidents made press statements and answered journalists’ questions.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
The President of France and I have just completed substantive talks, which were held in a trust-based, constructive tone. Naturally, we gave the greatest attention to the issue of jointly combating international terrorism.
The barbaric attack on Russia’s airplane over the Sinai Peninsula, the horrible events in Paris and the terrorist attacks in Lebanon, Nigeria and Mali have left many people dead, including hundreds of Russian and French citizens. This is our common tragedy and we stand united in our commitment to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
We have already intensified the Russian Armed Forces operation against Syrian terrorists and our military actions are effective; militants from the so-called Islamic State and other radical groups are suffering heavy losses. We have disrupted the extremists’ operating mechanisms, damaged their military infrastructure and significantly undermined their financial base – I am referring first and foremost to illicit trade in oil, which generates immense profits for the terrorists and their sponsors.
Those who apply double standards when dealing with terrorists, using them to achieve their own political aims and engaging in unlawful business with them, are playing with fire. History shows that sooner or later such actions will backfire against those who abet criminals.
Russia and France know what it means to act in the spirit of alliance; we have come together more than once throughout our history. Today, we agreed to step up our joint efforts on the anti-terrorist track, to improve the exchange of operational information in the fight against terrorism and establish constructive work between our military experts in order to avoid overlapping incidents and to focus our efforts on ensuring that our work in fighting terror is more effective, avoiding any strikes against territories and armed forces that are themselves fighting terrorists.
The barbaric attack on Russia’s airplane over the Sinai Peninsula, the horrible events in Paris and the terrorist attacks in Lebanon, Nigeria and Mali have left many people dead. This is our common tragedy and we stand united in our commitment to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
Mr Hollande and I are looking at this kind of cooperation as concrete and practical input towards forming a broad anti-terrorist coalition, a broad anti-terrorist front under the auspices of the United Nations. I will note that the number of nations sharing this initiative is growing.
We are confident that eradicating terrorism in Syria will create the necessary conditions for achieving a final and long-term settlement of the Syrian crisis. We agreed to continue working together very actively within the framework of the International Syria Support Group and promote the fulfilment of all agreements reached within this group, first and foremost with regard to the deadlines and parameters for holding intra-Syrian talks.
In today’s talks, we could not ignore the situation in Ukraine; in this context, we discussed prospects of cooperating in the Normandy format. We will continue to insist on the implementation of all provisions of the Minsk Agreements of February 12.
The Russian Armed Forces operation against Syrian terrorists is effective; militants from the so-called Islamic State and other radical groups are suffering heavy losses. We have significantly undermined their financial base – I am referring first and foremost to illicit trade in oil, which generates immense profits for the terrorists and their sponsors.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Mr President and all his French colleagues for an open, substantive dialogue. We agreed to continue our discussion in Paris within the framework of the UN Climate Change Conference.
Thank you for your attention.
President of France Francois Hollande (retranslated): Ladies and gentlemen, I wanted to meet with Mr Putin as part of the diplomatic and political initiative that I made the following day after the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris.
I would like to thank Mr Putin and the Russian people for their expression of condolences, sympathy and friendship towards the victims and their families, as well as towards the entire French people.
I personally told Mr Putin again that he can count on my support following the attack on the Russian airliner over the Sinai that took over 220 lives.
We all suffer from terrorism. Terrorism can strike in any part of the world, so it is critical to act. And this is the whole point of our meeting in Moscow. We must respond together.
Last week, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that all countries in the world should take the necessary measures to coordinate their efforts to eliminate the Islamic State, and we must pursue this process.