Bilateral trade and economic relations were the main subject of discussion.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Prime Minister, colleagues.
I know that you began your work here in Russia the day before yesterday, with the opening of the Days of Moldovan Culture events. I hope this programme of events will be just as much a success as were the Days of Russian Culture in Moldova. I know that many different events are scheduled to take place in Moscow and St Petersburg.
I am very pleased that you have the chance to look around Sochi a bit, and I hope it’ll make a good impression. Maybe you could organise an event in Sochi too. That would certainly be of interest, I am sure. We have people from all around the country working here in Sochi now, and so there would be demand for such an event.
We have a busy year this year. Our countries are marking 20 years since establishing diplomatic relations, 10 years since signing our basic bilateral agreement, and 200 years since the historic agreement that laid the first foundations for Moldovan statehood. In short, this is a diverse and interesting year.
Let me note at the same time that our bilateral trade is on the increase. We are now close to a figure of $2 billion. I met here with our Serbian friends yesterday. Serbia is bigger than Moldova, but our bilateral trade comes to a similar figure. This shows overall that our trade ties with our close neighbours, with Moldova in particular, are growing and becoming more intensive.
”We have a busy year this year. Our countries are marking 20 years since establishing diplomatic relations, 10 years since signing our basic bilateral agreement, and 200 years since the historic agreement that laid the first foundations for Moldovan statehood.“
I think we should concentrate our attention on investment activity. Total Russian investment in the Moldovan economy is still very small, but I think there are good opportunities for development.
Our companies, big and medium-sized, would be happy to work on your market, and some of them are already present in the Moldovan economy. I will not list them now – you know them well enough yourselves. Aside from Gazprom, other companies are present too. Your government has privatisation plans. I think that if you think it possible to encourage Russian investment into your country, our bilateral trade and economic relations and the Moldovan economy would benefit.
Of course, the energy sector is one of the main issues on our agenda. We will discuss all of these different areas today.
We are very pleased to see you. Welcome!
Prime Minister of The Republic of Moldova Vladimir Filat: Thank you.
Mr President, firstly, I thank you for this chance to meet and continue the discussions that we have been conducting over the last three years.
I note that our relations are showing a positive dynamic, and this is true not just of our economic ties, but also of our humanitarian contacts, where we have made progress.
We know the issues on our agenda, the issues to address, and we discuss them openly. In cases where solutions have yet to be found, it is our hope and desire to settle matters rapidly in the interests of both countries and to continue developing our relations.
On the investment question, we are certainly interested in Russian investment. This concerns not just the privatisation programme but also projects that we hope to carry out through public-private partnerships.
Sectors such as infrastructure, transport, energy and others are very important. I think that if we continue working in a spirit of strategic cooperation we will be able to settle the specific problems that come up, and develop our relations.
This is why this whole delegation has come today, because we place a lot of importance on each individual area of cooperation and want to make progress.
Vladimir Putin: I know that one of the matters that you already discussed in Moscow is the possibility of increasing Moldova’s supplies of alcoholic beverages to our market. Your products such as Moldovan brandies and wines are popular on our market. As I understand it, there are three cities serving as import entry points?
Vladimir Filat: At the moment, yes. Moscow, St Petersburg, and there was talk of making Bryansk an entry point too.
Mr Medvedev gave the instruction to expand possibilities. Logistically speaking, this would be advantageous.
Vladimir Putin: It is entirely likely that, this is the step to take. How much of your exports go to the Russian market now, around three quarters?
Vladimir Filat: It’s less now – around 40 percent.
Vladimir Putin: Overall, that is close to half of all your agricultural produce exports in money terms. In other words, this is an important area. All the more so then, if an intergovernmental agreement has been reached now, we will certainly implement it swiftly.