Mark Rutte is in Russia as a guest of honour at the 17th St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, dear friends,
Good afternoon, we are very glad to see you in St Petersburg at our International Economic Forum.
We met in the Netherlands not that long ago and had the opportunity to discuss the full range of our mutual interests. But the fact that you came to St Petersburg today with such a large delegation, including business people, once again bears witness to our mutual interest in further developing our relations.
Our trade is considerable, more than $82.5 billion, and mutual investment flows are increasing. We are currently implementing a large number of major joint projects. It is always important, but in a turbulent global economy this is doubly important.
In addition, I also hope that you will be able to find the time to get to know St Petersburg, a wonderful European city.
Prime Minister of The Netherlands Mark Rutte (re-translated): Thank you Mr President. First of all, let me thank you for the warm welcome.
We had very good talks in Amsterdam on April 8. The Netherlands is Russia’s largest trading partner in Europe, and Russia is among the Netherlands’ three largest trading partners outside of Europe.
I am accompanied by a large, representative delegation of heads of Dutch companies, and naturally we are convinced that our trade and economic ties have great prospects. Of course, these ties include traditional industries such as agriculture and energy, but we are also talking about infrastructure, the water sector, and healthcare.
In Amsterdam, we also had the opportunity to talk about human rights. This is a problem we both take equally seriously, so I’m very pleased to be able to continue our dialogue on that account. And if we keep going at this rate, we’ll meet again in three months time.
Vladimir Putin: Good, I will be very happy to do so.