President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues,
I am very glad to meet with you again. Last year you came to Russia, as I remember, to take part in the FIFA World Cup’s opening ceremony.
The opening of the Russia-Africa Summit coincided with your birthday, as we remember. I would like to once again wish you good health, prosperity and success, and thank you for coming to Russia regardless of this personal occasion of yours.
Today we have a good opportunity to discuss the current state and prospects of bilateral cooperation as well as to exchange opinions on topical African and international issues, including in the context of Rwanda’s current chairmanship in the East African Community.
Russia and Rwanda boast traditionally friendly relations. Last year we marked the 55th anniversary of our diplomatic ties.
Last year our trade grew by one third. The absolute numbers are not that big, but the trend is positive. It was adjusted in the first six months of this year, so, of course, additional efforts are needed to normalise the situation.
The participation of Rwandan representatives in the Russia-Africa Economic Forum should boost this process. We have renewed, stepped up our relations in an entire range of promising areas. I hope that we will get a chance to discuss some issues during our meeting today.
President of Rwanda Paul Kagame: Your Excellency, President,
I want to thank you for your very warm welcome and the important substance of the discussions we had today and remarks. Let me once again thank you most sincerely for including even personal wishes to me for my birthday. It was a good coincidence that I had it here in Russia, in Sochi, so it’s a great pleasure for me to be here.
And also I have good memories of our last meeting last year. And on that platform we have been able to build a good relationship between our two countries and look forward to continue the strengthening of that relationship and to personally develop that connection with you, Mr President. And in the context of the relationship Africa and Russia will develop.
I want to congratulate you and your government on the success of this historic first Russia-Africa Summit. We are very happy and satisfied with the results as they happened. Number of things were happening today. My own delegation was busy making connection with the Russian counterpart in different areas of interest. And we are happy that a number of milestones have been reached, even signing a number of agreements. So, President, we are very happy to be here, we are happy to be partners and friends with Russia, and we want to continue that. Thank you very much.