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PARIS, March 28 (Itar-Tass) – The foundations for advancement in all spheres - from the economy to culture have been laid in the relations between the major French and Russian companies. This point of view was expressed by the participants in the meeting of the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association that was held under the chairmanship of President of the OJSC Russian Railways (RZD) Vladimir Yakunin and Vice President of the party Union for a Popular Movement of the French parliament MP Thierry Mariani.
“The Franco-Russian Dialogue develops, its activity is visible, it has taken an important place in the contacts between the civil societies of the two countries,” Yakunin said.
Mariani for his part noted that this year in relations between Moscow and Paris will be marked by a major economic forum, which is scheduled for June. “Exchanges in the transport sector are very intensive,” added the French politician, former Transport Minister of the Republic. “Now we want to pay attention also to other spheres.”
According to President of the engineering giant Alstom Patrick Kron, his company “is interested in cooperation with Russia also at the level of specific proposals.” “The working on the transport issue has attained cruising speed. We currently supply equipment for railways,” he said. “We have a lot of joint projects.”
Among the priority sphere Kron named interaction with the CJSC Transmashholding. “The goal of our partnership with Transmashholding is to deliver new equipment,” he added. “This applies to passenger and freight locomotives, suburban trains. We work together not only in Russia, but also in other countries.”
CEO of Bouygues Martin Bouygues also noted promising outlook for the development of cooperation in the sphere of transport. “Russia’s interest in high-speed trains creates new opportunities for the expansion of ties,” he stated. “The same opportunities exist in the sphere of construction and development of roads.”
Cultural ties between France and Russia are also strengthening further. Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre, People's Artist of Russia Valery Gergiev said at the meeting that a big premiere will be shortly given for the French public. “This year, we will show in Paris a new production of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet “The Rite of Spring” - one of the best works of the twentieth century,” the maestro said. “Also, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the performances of Sergei Diaghilev’s ballet company. We have great ties, powerful cooperation infrastructure. This makes it possible to fully develop the talents of young people.”
The result of the current meeting of the Association Franco-Russian Dialogue as a whole can be considered positive – its Executive Chairman, Prince Alexander Troubetzkoy said. “In the history of the dialogue this meeting has been the most fruitful,” he noted. “It was attended by the captains of the two countries’ economies. It showed that the business circles of Russia and France are very interested in bringing the cooperation to a qualitatively new level.”
According to Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Orlov, cooperation between Russia and France today has “an unprecedented range,” and such association as Franco-Russian Dialogue is a powerful tool to strengthen the bilateral ties. “The Association over the years of its existence has become a real ‘laboratory of ideas’ for mutually beneficial partnership,” the Russian diplomat said.
The Association Franco-Russian Dialogue was founded in 2004 on the initiative of the French and Russian Presidents, Jacques Chirac, and Vladimir Putin. It brings together the elite of the business world of the two countries, its priority tasks are to create optimal conditions for strategic partnership, for industrial, economic and cultural interaction between Paris and Moscow.