Russia Shares French, German Positions Towards EU Expansion

SOCHI (RIA Novosti). "For Russia, it would be very important to consolidate the positions taken by France and Germany in connection with the EU expansion from the point of view of the development of relations with Russia and transfer them, as far as possible, onto the site of the entire European Community," said Russia’s president Vladimir Putin at a meeting with journalists in Sochi (he is taking part there in the first ever Public Forum of the peoples of the.Northern Caucasus and southern Russia. "Russia is interested to have a powerful center in Europe, with which it would be able to resolve problems of bilateral relations on a firm foundation," he noted.

""The situation today is developing in such a way that we do not have anyone to talk to at times," Putin stressed. In his words, the EU has a new chairman every six months, and then new priorities appear, while the old ones are put aside. "It’s difficult to work, and they do understand this," Putin added. Therefore, in his opinion, the more stable the situation in the European Union, the more useful this is for Russia.

"We cannot influence this process, but we must understand what kind of processes are under way there," Putin said. In his opinion, this is connected with the development of integration processes in post-Soviet Russia and its former republics.

Putin said that he was also planning to discuss the situation concerning the adoption of the European Union’s Constitution with the leaders of France and Germany. He will meet with them in Moscow at the start of April. "It will be interesting to know how the process of the adoption of the EU Constitution is developing from the point of view of both France and Germany. We know that this is a difficult process, that the document is born of suffering," the Russian leader noted.