President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Madame President, colleagues. I am happy to welcome you to Russia.
Thank you for accepting our invitation.
This year we will mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between Russia and Croatia.
I am pleased to say that our trade is growing rapidly.
We maintain relations in a number of areas, which are highly promising.
We have an intergovernmental commission, which held a regular meeting recently. Its next meeting with be held in Croatia.
I am pleased to see you in Russia. It is a good opportunity to discuss bilateral relations, as well as international issues.
Welcome to Russia.
President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (retranslated): Thank you, Mr President.
Thank you for inviting us to Russia and for meeting with us here, in Sochi. I am particularly pleased about this because Sochi is often compared to Opatija, the cradle of Croatia’s tourism industry.
Please, allow me to begin by inviting you to make an official visit to the Republic of Croatia. So far, not a single President of Russia has been to Croatia on an official visit, although you were in Croatia in 2007 for the Energy Forum.
I am happy to have this opportunity to meet with you today, and I am sure that this meeting will boost our relations to a new stage and will open a new page in the history of our cooperation.
Today we will be speaking primarily about bilateral relations, including economic cooperation and other topics, as well as security on the European continent, primarily security in Southeast Europe, and also issues of global security, in which Russia is playing an extremely important role.
We will also discuss a number of unsettled issues, which should be addressed through an open dialogue based on mutual respect, as I see it, because an open dialogue is a very good opportunity and venue for settling any dispute. Positive conditions are a vital element of finding solutions to problems.
Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: Madame President, you have a busy agenda for this visit. In addition to this meeting, you plan to hold talks with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and meet with Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of our Parliament’s upper house, after which you will go to St Petersburg, as far as I know.
I am confident that such numerous meetings with officials who are responsible for various aspects of life in Russia, including foreign policy, culture and the economy, will certainly benefit our bilateral relations.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic: Yes, Mr President, I fully agree that our agenda is really very full. I am especially happy to be able to attend the opening of the [Russian-Croatian] Economic Forum, because very many Croatian companies have accepted the invitation to attend this forum, which reflects our interest in the further development of our economic cooperation.