Presentation of foreign ambassadors’ letters of credence 2013-10-23 14:00:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin received the letters of credence of 20 foreign ambassadors in a ceremony in the Grand Kremlin Palace’s Alexander Hall. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, I wish you a warm welcome and congratulate you on the start of your honourable and responsible missions in Moscow. You have ahead of you important work to develop relations between the countries you represent and Russia. We all want this work to be fruitful, to further the political dialogue and raise the level of trade, economic and investment ties and humanitarian contacts. We all know that the situation in the world is far from stable, but Russia is a consistent supporter of diplomatic efforts and determined negotiations aimed at finding mutually acceptable solutions. It is very important that this approach has the understanding and support of most countries with regard to the very complex situation in Syria, and that the international community is now concentrating its efforts on preparing for the Geneva 2 peace conference. This is our joint achievement. I stress the fact that Russia places priority on international law and the United Nations’ central role. We must base ourselves only on the UN Charter’s provisions in our efforts to settle crisis situations. Global politics are closely tied to the state of the world economy. During its presidency of the G20, Russia focused its efforts on financial and economic recovery and speeding up development. At the St Petersburg summit, we agreed on the principles for stimulating growth, increasing investment in the economy’s real sector, and carrying out job creation and employment policies that take into account the interests of the developed and developing economies. We will continue consistent implementation of the summit’s decisions, including in our preparations for the next G8 summit that will take place in Russia in 2014. Ladies and gentlemen, the heads of 20 diplomatic missions are here today. I would like to say a few words about Russia’s relations with each of your countries. Russia has traditionally friendly relations with the Republic of Lebanon. Our talks with President Sleiman in January this year reaffirmed our desire to expand our economic and humanitarian ties. Our ties with the Republic of Chad are growing stronger. We see good opportunities for cooperation in developing oil and gas fields and in the mining sector. We want to develop our political dialogue, trade and economic cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. We have joint plans for big projects in the energy and metals sectors. We also need to build up our anti-terrorism and anti-drugs cooperation. There is steady development in our cooperation with the Republic of Mozambique. Russian companies are becoming actively involved in developing minerals and raw materials resources in Mozambique. We have new opportunities for expanding our ties with the Republic of Paraguay thanks to the recently signed agreement on visa-free travel. We will continue to strengthen our mutually advantageous economic contacts and military-technical cooperation. We value our traditionally close partnership with the Hellenic Republic. Our ties have deep historical and spiritual roots. In September, we celebrated the 185th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. Our bilateral political dialogue and business cooperation have good prospects ahead, including in connection with Greece’s upcoming presidency in the European Union. We want to put more substance into our relations with the Portuguese Republic and we think that we should intensify our trade and economic cooperation and tourism exchanges. The Republic of Iraq is one of our most important partners in the Middle East. We support the Iraqi authorities’ efforts to stabilise the situation in their country and ensure national harmony. We are ready to help Iraq strengthen its security and law enforcement agencies, and develop energy and defence cooperation in line with the agreements signed during Prime Minister al-Maliki’s visit to Moscow. In our relations with the Republic of Mauritius we want to more actively develop cooperation in sectors such as fishing, transport and tourism. We are building a constructive dialogue with the Republic of Panama. We now need to strengthen our bilateral legal framework and develop our cooperation in energy, construction and the banking sector. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is our reliable strategic partner in Latin America. During President Maduro’s visit to Moscow, we agreed to intensify our trade and energy sector ties, industrial cooperation, housing construction and military-technical cooperation. We will continue to work closely with Caracas on the international stage. Our relations with the Republic of Cyprus have traditionally developed in a friendly spirit. We will continue to deepen our bilateral relations in the economic and humanitarian sectors and take part in the search for a fair and viable settlement to the Cyprus issue. We have longstanding relations as good neighbours with Mongolia. We hope to continue steady work to carry out our planned projects in the energy sector, infrastructure, transport and the mining industry. The history of our official ties with the Kingdom of Denmark goes back 520 years now, back to when the Treaty of Love and Brotherhood, as it was called, was signed in Copenhagen in 1493. Today, our relations are characterised by growing trade and economic cooperation and multifaceted contacts between our regions. We are ready to build a constructive partnership with the Republic of Latvia based on the principles of good-neighbourliness and respect for each other’s interests. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is one of our biggest trade and investment partners. The business and cultural events held as part of the reciprocal Year of Russia in the Netherlands and Year of the Netherlands in Russia have been a success. We are looking forward to the visit by King Willem-Alexander. As for the well-known situation with Russia’s diplomatic mission in The Hague, I discussed this matter in detail a few days ago in a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Rutte. Our political dialogue and economic cooperation with the Republic of Slovenia are growing. In particular, we are carrying out projects in the pharmaceutical industry, the information sector and energy. In September, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Ireland. We are ready to continue our bilateral cooperation in trade, the economy and investment. We have good-neighbourly and mutually advantageous relations with Norway. The agreement on demarcating our sea borders in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean opens up new opportunities for deepening our cooperation. The European Union is one of our priority partners, as it accounts for almost half of all of Russia’s foreign trade. In 2012, trade with the EU reached the solid figure of $410 billion. We also have substantial investment with Russian investment in the EU coming to $64 billion and EU investment in Russia coming to $86 billion. We seek to develop our multifaceted relations with the EU, including mutually advantageous energy cooperation, the drafting of a new basic agreement between Russia and the EU, and eventually the formation of a common economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Ladies and gentlemen, Here today in the Kremlin are people from practically every continent: from Asia, Europe, America and Africa. We value our good relations with each of your countries. In carrying out your missions here, you can count on support and understanding from the Russian authorities and from our ministries and agencies. Once again, I wish you successful work and many good impressions of your time in our country. Thank you.