President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,
I am happy to welcome you in the Kremlin.
Yesterday, we had an informal but very intense and business-like meeting with President of China Xi Jinping in the Kremlin, the heart of Russia.
We view our meeting today and your official visit as a key event for the development of bilateral relations this year. I am glad to say that the growth of our mutual trade last year was modest at 3.9 percent, whereas this year it soared by 37 percent in the first four months.
We invariably have economic matters at the top of our agenda, but they are not the only issues we address. We also coordinate our efforts on the international stage, in the area of security and in the fight against modern threats and challenges. We are glad to have this opportunity to engage in an in-depth discussion of all aspects of our cooperation with you, Mr President, and all our Chinese friends in various formats.
President of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): Mr President, my good friend! My dear Russian friends and colleagues!
I am happy to be able to make one more visit to Russia. Upon our arrival here yesterday, we were given a warm welcome and felt your genuine friendship and attention. We highly appreciate this friendship. I am deeply impressed.
Russia was the first country I visited as PRC President after my election in March 2013. Since then, I have visited Russia six times and attended international events here. We counted that the two of us have met 22 times over these years. Russia is the country that I visited the most, and among foreign leaders I maintain the closest contacts and ties with you. This is indicative of the high level and special nature of the relations between our two countries.
China and Russia are good neighbours that are connected by rivers and mountains. We are reliable friends always eager to help and support one another. In addition, we are reliable and good partners maintaining close and effective ties.
Our cooperation is underpinned by the core principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. This is an essential feature of the relations between our two countries as great powers.
Over the years, we have succeeded in many areas by acting together. I am looking forward to exchanging views with you on all relevant matters as part of this visit. I strongly believe that this visit will bring about new advances and will be a success.
On a personal note and on behalf of the entire delegation, I would like to once again thank you for the attention and hospitality demonstrated by the Russian Government.