French President Emmanuel Macron has referred to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin with the informal "you" during their recent meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, and proposed finding a solution on Ukraine.
"Thank you, dear President, dear Vladimir! Also thank 'you' and 'your' delegation for accepting us here in St. Petersburg," Macron told Putin before French-Russian talks on May 24, an UNIAN correspondent in Russia has reported.
Macron recalled that it had been one year since the beginning of an intensive exchange "at our level" between France and Russia in Versailles.
"A year has passed, and I decided last fall to accept your offer to come here, to St. Petersburg. Today I'm very happy about it," he said.
"Beyond our bilateral relations, I think, today we have a moment when we, the two countries with a special status as permanent members of the UN Security Council and with very strong, deep historical ties – we have very strong ties in the sphere international policy, and I believe thanks to them, we can find solutions and work together in all areas, be it Ukraine, the Middle East, Iran or Syria, or be it, as we think, a multilateral approach to international policy," Macron said.
According to him, the parties can "work together and consolidate forces to find joint initiatives."
Putin, in turn, chose a more formal way of communication.
"Mr President, colleagues, welcome to St Petersburg. I want to thank you for accepting our invitation and coming to the St Petersburg Forum. We will use this opportunity to have a full-fledged discussion of Russian-French relations," he said.
Putin stressed he was set to speak with Macron about "key international issues, which France and Russia are interested in resolving."
After the talks, the two parties will sign joint documents.
Macron came to Russia on an official visit. He is accompanied by the First Lady. He is also scheduled to attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum as an honorable guest.