Excerpts from Russian President Vladimir Putin's statements during his visits to France (19 August) and Finland (21 August)
We are interested in a full-scale restoration of relations with the European Union. We hope that the new leadership of the EU will also show a positive attitude towards maintaining a mutually beneficial partnership with our country.
We are grateful to France for its position in the Council of Europe in favour of the full-scale return of the Russian delegation. I believe this will facilitate building normal, full-fledged and trusting relationships in Europe. I count on the support of France in building relationships with the European Union in the same spirit.