Presentation by foreign ambassadors of their letters of credence 2012-02-22 13:30:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Dmitry Medvedev received letters of credence from new ambassadors to the Russian Federation from the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, the USA, Lithuania, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia, Indonesia, and Panama. * * * President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen, Let me start by welcoming you to the Kremlin and giving you my sincere best wishes for success in your important diplomatic work here in Russia. I hope that Russia’s bilateral cooperation with each of your countries will develop and be very productive indeed. Our policy has always been a balanced one based on our readiness to engage in equal dialogue with all who seek it. This foreign policy has the support of the majority of Russians and this is by far the best guarantee that it will continue. Our people’s opinion is the one and only political factor that can influence our foreign policy. We will continue our pragmatic foreign policy that seeks to achieve the global goal of building a fair and democratic world order. Our policy is based on the priority of international law and the guarantee of indivisible and equal security for all countries. These same principles form the basis of our approach to the extremely complex international and regional issues currently being discussed practically every day in international and regional forums. I am referring to the Iranian nuclear programme and the situation in Syria, as well as to the earlier events in Egypt, Libya, and in the Middle East in general. We will take into account the impact the international community’s decisions could have on interfaith and interethnic relations and will not support decisions that ignore or do not give full consideration to these aspects. Let me make one other point. We consider it unacceptable that vital decisions affecting the future of entire nations and peoples should be taken hastily under pressure from mass propaganda campaigns, especially when we are dealing with very complex regional situations. Whether in substance or in spirit this is not the right approach. We must not let the institutions of international law become devalued, especially organisations such as the United Nations, and must not let them become replaced by interest groups, ‘groups of friends,’ based on opportunistic or short-term political concerns or economic expediency. All of you here are professionals capable of getting to the bottom of the real state of affairs, and you know very well that no one has the right to pass final judgement. Our common goal today is to preserve the international laws that govern the relations between peoples and countries, ensure unswerving respect for universal humanitarian standards, and prevent provocation and violence and the use of such acts as an instrument in international politics. Ladies and gentlemen, we hope very much for friendly and constructive relations with the countries you represent. We hope that your work here will help to strengthen the ties between us. Let me now say a few words about our relations with each of the countries you represent. We have fast-growing relations with the Republic of Korea, one of our priority partners in the Asia-Pacific region and a country with which we can develop many promising opportunities. It is in our common interest to take our relations to the strategic cooperation level by making them more effective in every area. Of course, we also want to work together to settle the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Our relations with the Swiss Confederation have undergone a noticeable upturn of late. Our ties go back almost 200 years. We have been having much more intensive contacts at the highest level, and have increased our humanitarian and economic cooperation. We have great respect for Switzerland’s neutral status and for its high standing as a responsible and honest mediator in very difficult situations. Relations with the United States of America have traditionally been a priority for Russia’s foreign policy, and this will remain the case. Our relations are of particular importance for ensuring global security and simply making our world a more stable place. The atmosphere of political dialogue between our countries has visibly improved over recent years. This mutual positive spirit laid a foundation that has produced real practical results and enabled the signing of very important agreements. Russia wants to deepen its cooperation with the United States in a broad range of areas, even in situations in which our assessments and approaches differ. I am sure that if we follow the principles of common sense, mutual respect, and equality we can work together to support global stability and security and in so doing lay the foundations to keep our relations growing in the future. This positive spirit was reflected in the messages that President of the United States Barack Obama and I exchanged just recently. We hope for constructive, pragmatic, and mutually advantageous dialogue with the Republic of Lithuania in order to settle a broad range of trade and economic and humanitarian issues and pursue cooperation on Kaliningrad. I am sure that this straightforward and pragmatic approach would help to build greater confidence between us. We seek to develop friendly and mutually beneficial relations with the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire (with which our ties go back 45 years now), all the more so as there are many promising areas in which we can develop our cooperation. We have a longstanding friendship with the Republic of Zambia, one of the African continent’s influential countries. I am sure that we can make a common effort to develop our bilateral cooperation more fully and bolster our ties in regional and international affairs. We are happy with the high level of dialogue we have with the Republic of Indonesia and the way it is developing. The practical potential of our ties and our similar views on many of today’s key issues form a solid foundation for building up our cooperation in a broad range of areas, from energy and space to big infrastructure projects. We will continue to work together in the interests of strengthening peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. We are ready to deepen our cooperation and expand advantageous contacts at all different levels with the Republic of Panama and want to work together to strengthen our trade and economic ties. Ladies and gentlemen, you have difficult and very important work ahead of you. Russia sincerely wants this work to be a success, and of course we are ready to provide you with all possible assistance. Thank you for your attention.