President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues,
Welcome to Russia.
To start with, I would like to note that next year we will be marking an important date – the 30th anniversary of independence of Namibia and the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries.
Over these years, an atmosphere of mutual understanding and trust has formed between our countries. We appreciate the Namibian leadership’s position of support of our initiatives at the UN, as well as of Russian candidates at various international organisations.
I would like to point out that our political dialogue is developing, and we can see a positive trend when it comes to trade and economic ties. Trade grew more than seven times last year.
We have good prospects in an entire range of fields. This includes energy. Exploration of mineral resources, in particular, Namibia’s uranium resources, can become an important part of our cooperation. Russia is the fifth largest producer of uranium raw material in the world. Russia, as a world leader in nuclear energy and nuclear fuel production, and Namibia, as a major uranium producer, could establish close cooperation and become good partners.
Such spheres as joint exploration of fields potentially rich in vanadium, copper, gold and other minerals is also quite an interesting area of cooperation. We have a legal basis for this. In 2016, we signed intergovernmental agreements on cooperation in geology and mineral resources as well as a memorandum of understanding between Zarubezhgeologiya and a Namibian company.
We also have potentially interesting offers in the diamond industry. Our largest diamond producer, Alrosa, is ready to host a Namibian delegation in Moscow to discuss matters of mutual interest.
We also have interesting prospects in transport. The United Wagon Company is negotiating with a company from Namibia to upgrade railways and supply freight cars and spare parts; they are also discussing an opportunity for SKD assembly on the spot, in Namibia.
Construction of surface facilities for air travel can also be economically advantageous. Our companies are interested in working together in hydropower engineering.
We are ready to promote cooperation in the field of agriculture, for example, to import Namibian food products, such as meat and fish. We hope to organise counter trading of our animal products to Namibia and to expand our exports of grain and fertilisers.
Mr President, we have a lot of interesting fields when it comes to cooperation. I would like your visit to encourage our economic operators to work more actively.
Thank you very much.
President of Namibia Hage Gottfried Geingob: Thank you very much for this opportunity.
To us – we are former freedom fighters, who fought against colonialism – Russia has always been there, where our people were oppressed. So those of us from Namibia, SWAPO Party, although its name has changed, it was the Russian people, who were welcoming us, taking care of us, sharing the trenches in Africa. Difficult times for some of them. So I am very honoured to meet you, we are glad to renew now the relationships. During the difficult times we are together. Now it is time when our old friends can come and see how we can cooperate in what we are calling as our second phase of the struggle, that of economic emancipation. So I am glad to say that already our military people instructed me to say they want to have Russian military advisors and so on, to start with.
As for the other many things Your Excellency mentioned. Our bilateral relations are good, but not as good as they could be because of the old relations we had. The areas you’ve mentioned are all important. I was surprised you have mentioned already what I was supposed to mention. Education, we have students who are studying here, doctors, medical doctors.
Energy is the biggest problem and issue that we can discuss. Uranium we have, we don’t use it ourselves. Our friends who can use it, can come and call as law as we said earlier. But before that I must thank you for not leaving our country in a serious trouble, and you came to our aid, so thank you very much. About uranium, yes, we are uranium producing country and we will be welcoming those who would like to come and use it.