The two sides exchanged views on key issues on the international agenda.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary of State, colleagues,
We are very happy to welcome you to Moscow. I am glad that we are continuing our contacts with our US colleagues regularly and at all levels.
Just recently, Mr Obama and I had two fairly lengthy, substantive telephone conversations and had the chance to discuss many aspects of our relations. I received his written message through Mr Donilon. We are currently preparing a response.
I hope to soon meet with him in person. We will have opportunities to do so several times this year. I feel it is very important that our key ministries, including our foreign ministries, are working jointly to resolve the most difficult problems in the world today.
We are truly happy to see you, because this is an opportunity to personally discuss the problems we feel are important.
US Secretary of State John Kerry: Thank you very, very much, Mr President. I’m really happy to be here to see you. I appreciate your welcome and I’ve had a terrific opportunity to work with your foreign minister [Sergei Lavrov] on any number of issues and we’re very appreciative for his diligence and cooperation.
Mr President, I also am honoured to be here on the eve of your Victory Day celebration. I had the pleasure of walking through Red Square and seeing the preparations and I even met with some of your veterans. I had a chance to talk with them about their experiences. And I think many people in the United States and elsewhere are not fully aware of the enormous contribution of Russia, the amazing sacrifices and the great effort made as a partner and ally to win that war. We thank you for that great cooperation.
Mr President, as you know better than anybody, there are enormous challenges today that require the same level of cooperation. And I’m very happy that our professionals are working together now to work, to deal with some of the issues of the bombing that took place in Boston, and we thank you for that cooperation.
And Mr President, I bring you President Obama’s greetings. He related to me the substance of his conversations with you, for which he was very grateful. And he is looking forward to seeing you on the side of the G8 in Ireland and would reiterate that there are many issues – economic cooperation, the challenges of North Korea, Iran, Syria, and many other issues – on which he believes we could cooperate very significantly.
And finally, Mr President, I know that we’ll have a chance to talk about it seriously in a few moments, but we really believe, the United States believes, that we share some very significant common interests with respect to Syria: stability in the region, not having extremists creating problems throughout the region and elsewhere. And I think we have both embraced, in the Geneva Communique, a common approach. So it’s my hope that today, we’ll be able to dig into that a little bit and see if we can find a common ground.
President Obama particularly feels that cooperation between Russia and the United States with respect to economic issues is something that would be of enormous benefit to both, and Russia’s leadership is so key on so many of those issues. We look forward to working with you. So thank you very, very much for seeing me here today.
Thank you, Mr President.