Russia and France have a "solid basis that can help them solve topical problems and face modern-day challenges," Secretary of Russia's Security Council Vladimir Rushailo told General Jean-Pierre Kelche, the chief of the General Staff of French Armed Forces, during a Kremlin meeting on Thursday. According to Rushailo, Russian-French interaction fully coincides with the political course for bilateral partnership at all levels as mapped out by Vladimir Putin and Jacques Chirac. On his part, Kelche observed that it was important to expand the dialogue between two countries. "I believe we're at a crossing of many roads," he said. " The world situation has changed since September 11, even though the major problems remained the same." He also pointed out the importance of bilateral contacts between Russia and France in the context of Russia's rapprochement with NATO and the European Union.