30 June 1966 - Speech broadcast on Soviet radio and television
General de Gaulle gave a speech which was broadcast on Soviet radio and television.
The visit I have just completed to your country is a visit paid by France as she has always been to Russia as she has always been. From the far distant days in which our two nations came into existence, they have never ceased to feel a special interest and attraction for one another. Russians have always been extremely popular in France. In coming to see you, therefore, it seemed to me that my approach and your reception were inspired by a reciprocal consideration and cordiality which, over the centuries, neither certain conflicts of the past, nor differences of regime, nor the opposition recently aroused by the division of the world have succeeded in breaking. On the contrary, our mutual esteem has grown through the experiences and trials that we have shared. So it is that, travelling to Moscow, to Novosibirsk, to Leningrad, Kiev and Volgograd, flying over your plains, your rivers, your forests, your mountains, seeing around me your men, women and children, I have been filled with an emotion that stems from the roots of history.
I feel this emotion most keenly at this very moment. For here I am before you, to salute the Russian people in the name of the French people. After the immense transformation brought about here by your revolution almost fifty years ago, at the cost of enormous sacrifices and efforts; then after the terrible drama that the war, won twenty years ago now, represented for you, your part in which raised the Soviet Union to the pinnacle of power and glory; at last, after your reconstruction in the wake of so many ravages, we see you alive, full of energy, progressing on every front, to the point where you are preparing to send men to the moon. Indeed, it is from experience the French people measures your merits and your successes. For close on two centuries now, it too has known the shock of great battles, invasions and revolutions; it too has suffered enormous human and material losses in two world wars, losses made good only with great difficulty. It too is in the process of carrying out a profound economic, scientific and technical renewal. Certainly you and we are not doing all these things in the same way, and the means we employ are often very different. All in all, however, your destiny and ours are similar and bound together. Soviet and French, we can take each other by the hand.
That is to say that in the world and times in which we live today, our two countries have many things of great importance to do. These things are not in any way destructive or menacing, but constructive and peaceful. First and foremost we must promote our respective development by increasing our contacts in every field. While France and the Soviet Union each have what they need to survive, it is clear that they also have much to gain by helping one another. It is also a question of implementing, in succession, détente, understanding and cooperation across the whole of Europe so that Europe can provide for her own security after so many combats, such devastation and such torment. It is a matter of thereby ensuring that our ancient continent, united and no longer divided, resumes the vital role which is its due, in the interests of the equilibrium, the progress and the peace of the world.
The following words were spoken in Russian:
To each Russian man and woman listening and watching, I extend with all my heart my thanks for the magnificent welcome that has been extended to me by the people and their leaders. To each and every one of you, I address my warmest wishes for yourself, for those close to you and for your country. To all I say that the new France is a friend of the new Russia.
Long live the Soviet Union! Long live the friendship between Russia and France!