France-Russia-Germany Tripartite Meeting
Q. – A question for President Medvedev. Closer cooperation with NATO and the European Union was always premised on the Russians demonstrating goodwill in resolving frozen conflicts. What’s your contribution? Firstly, Transnistria: when will Russia be ready to withdraw her troops from Moldavia, and then Georgia? Second question for the Chancellor, about yesterday’s meeting with the French President ahead of next week’s European Council. Why are you so certain that next week, at the European Council, you’ll get a decision allowing a revision of the treaties between now and 2013 on the Stability Pact?
THE PRESIDENT – (…) We’re committed like Germany to asking for a revision of the treaties along the lines Mrs Merkel indicated. We don’t want to impose our views on anyone. But I note, as Mrs Merkel said very clearly, that when Germany and France don’t agree, we’re vigorously criticized. I imagine that no one will criticize us for publicly expressing agreement before a meeting, above all given the recognized contribution our two countries made in consolidating European responses to the crisis.
So we have a common vision and are moving forward together in this direction. I agree wholeheartedly with everything Mrs Merkel has said. It must reassure everyone to know that we’re already working on a long-term solution for dealing with potential crises.
May I also say – and this is moreover what’s very agreeable in the dialogue with Mr Medvedev – that we naturally talked about what you call frozen conflicts. There’s also the question of Georgia – and since I had to deal with it in 2008 with Mr Medvedev, I was pleased to be able to discuss it with him, all that wasn’t that easy to manage – I told him what a great step forward the evacuation of the town of Perevi is. He will certainly remember that I had asked him for this several times and I thank him. And there’s a need to go on discussing, ensure that diplomacy, discussions prevail, in an atmosphere of calm and think about the return of the prisoners, and also for the Georgian authorities to commit to not resorting to force and for our Russian friends to accept European observers.
The work isn’t finished. Moreover, we, Mr Medvedev and I, knew that it would take time, that a difficult and painful situation like this can’t be resolved in a few weeks. (…)./.