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Russia expects to continue cooperation with French energy giant Total — Putin

November 28, 2014, 15:52 UTC+3 SOCHI

Projects with Russia are in the focus of the French energy giant’s development strategy, the new CEO Patrick Pouyanne assured the Russian president

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© AP Photo/Jacques Brinon

SOCHI, November 28. /TASS/. Russia expects to continue cooperation with the French energy giant Total, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Total’s new CEO Patrick Pouyanne on Friday.

The Russian president congratulated Pouyanne with his appointment to the post of Total’s CEO and wished him success.

“First of all, I want to congratulate you with the appointment to the company’s high post — chief executive officer — and wish you success. We’ll always be open to cooperation and hope for continuation of our joint work,” Putin said.

Falcon business jet crash in Moscow

Puyanne’s late predecessor Christophe de Margerie died in an air crash in Moscow on October 21.

A four-seat Dassault Falcon business jet, en route to Paris, collided with a snow plough during takeoff, caught fire and crashed onto the runway at Moscow’s Vnukovo-3 airport. Three crew members and a passenger — Total’s chief executive Christophe de Margerie — died in the crash.

Putin posthumously awarded Total’s late president with the Order of Honor to commend his contribution to strengthening economic and cultural ties between Russia and France.

Total's cooperation with Russia

Work with Russia makes integral part of France’s energy giant Total’s development, Total new CEO Patrick Pouyanne assured Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I should say that Russia is at the very heart of our development strategy,” the CEO of the French energy concern said.

Total’s entire personnel was touched by Russia’s attention over the tragic death of the company’s former CEO Christophe de Margerie, Pouyanne said, praising Russia’s initiative to name a Russian ship after Margerie.

While Total is a private company, the energy giant is ready to provide assistance in developing the Russian-French relations, Pouyanne said.

“You can count on me to the extent I can influence the development of relations between our countries. I’ll do all I can,” he told Putin.

Total has actually invested $10 billion in Russian projects by now, Pouyanne said, adding the French energy giant would continue cooperation with Russian partners.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that difficult situation in the energy sector did not come unexpected for Russia and French energy giant Total.

“We know that quite hard times have come for the oil industry and the energy sector as a whole today. But I believe that we and you face no unexpected issues,” the head of state said at a meeting with visiting Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne.

Situation at the oil market

The oil price plunge after OPEC’s decision to hold production unchanged is an inevitable market reaction, the Russian president said.

“This is an inevitable reaction,” Putin told Patrick Pouyanne, adding that Russia is satisfied with OPEC’s decision.

The world oil market will stabilize in the first quarter or in the middle of 2015, Vladimir Putin said.

“Winter lies ahead and the market will stabilize in the first quarter or in the middle of the year,” Putin said at a meeting with French energy giant Total’s new CEO Patrick Pouyanne.

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