French mass media considered it a momentous factor that Russia was the first foreign country which Jacques Chirac visited after being elected for the new Presidential term.
In its reports from Sochi the French TF-1 TV channel indicated that it was the proof of significant improvement of French-Russian relations of late.
The "Liberation" newspaper pointed out that the visit of the French President marked significant warming of the recent French -Russian relations. The same newspaper quoted the opinion expressed by Jacques Chirac in relation to the Kaliningrad problem: "It is inadmissible that Russians should apply for visa when travelling from one location in their territory to another." "Le Figaro" newspaper starts its report from Sochi by stating that "the French President arrived at the Black sea resort in Sochi for the informal summit meeting to forget the tension related to Chechnya".
The capital "Parisien" newspaper reports that "at the prestigious resort Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly welcomed Jacques Chirac." "The menu of the working dinner" of the two leaders in the official residence ("Bocharov Ruchei") consists of economic relations between France and Russia, global international policy issues, first of all the Middle East and the fate of Yasser Arafat.
Russia has left the list of 33 largest holders of US government bonds, after the country disposed of at least a third of remaining bonds