Let us celebrate the European nations’ freedom from the nazi yoke. The liberation of France by the allies was only possible because the Russian people and their soldiers showed unprecedented courage. The Russian soldiers lived through the hardest trials of that war and they managed to overcome. We owe them infinitely. Every time I come to Moscow, I visit the house keeping the memorial of the pilots on the "Normandy-Niemen" squadron, the Russian and French who jointly fought Nazism.
The June 18, 1940 call by General De Gaulle meant that not all the French had surrendered, without that declaration France would have not been among the victors. De Gaulle was an exceptional man; he had his own vision about the relationships between Europe and Russia. His famous expression "Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals" symbolizes his conviction of a Europe and a Russia going together.
Russia has courageously and determinedly devoted to renew its political, economic and social life. What Russia is doing is positive and must be developed even more and further continued. In this spirit of privileged bonds between Europe and Russia, I participated in the preparation of the Russian-European policy initiated in 2003 in Saint Petersburg. I hope that the summit taking place in a few days will allow us to make a final decision about the «four common spheres» of that policy. Europe and Russia, two huge systems, two basic elements in the multi-polar world of tomorrow, should move forward in the interests of achieving the world’s and the region’s balance.
The dialogue I was having with Putin which was going on in an atmosphere of confidence gradually led to friendship. He is a man who knows what he wants and what he says he does it frankly and clearly. He does not pretend or hide. I’m of the same character as he is. That does not mean that we agree on everything but that we will undoubtedly reach an agreement.
Nothing can justify terrorism and we must join together. It is essential that we eradicate the roots of terrorism, which frequently stems from social or political causes or results from conflicts. I would like to say to the Russian youth that there are difficulties in Russia and in
Europe, but also that we have a vocation. We must go into the future holding each other’s hands, each with their traditions, culture and customs. I am convinced that this will be so.

Izvestia (Russia)
Daily with a circulation of 430 000 copies founded in 1917, like the Pravda.

" ОСВОБОЖДЕНИЕ ФРАНЦИИ СТАЛО ВОЗМОЖНЫМ ТОЛЬКО БЛАГОДАРЯ МУЖЕСТВУ РОССИЙСКОГО НАРОДА ", by Jacques Chirac, Izvestia, May 6, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.