Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ion Iliescu discussed relevant aspects of Russian-Romanian relations and prospects for extending partnership in a European format.
After the negotiations, they signed the Russian-Romanian Treaty on Friendly Relations and Cooperation. A joint statement by the Romanian and Russian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, a consular convention and a partnership agreement between the two countries’ Audit Chambers were also signed in their presence.
As Mr Putin and Mr Iliescu were addressing a joint news conference, Mr Putin expressed his conviction that the two nations must not forget the history of their relations. There was everything in the past, both good and bad, but the past was not to hamper progress, he said.
The Russian President called to pass from partnership on paper to practical cooperation. He expressed satisfaction with evident reciprocal goodwill for greater efforts to restore and step up Russian-Romanian contacts. He regarded partnership in the energy, engineering and metal industries as top priorities. Mr Putin also spoke in favour of closer partnership on infrastructure development, mainly transport.
President Putin also noted that following the enlargement of the European Union, EU countries would account for more than a half of Russia’s foreign trade. It was necessary to decide whether trade would further increase through Russia’s long-established partners in Central Europe or West European countries.
Mr Putin pointed out that Europe was re-appraising the Russian presence in the European market. Russia was counting on European demand for its energy, and Europe understood that, he said.
Mr Iliescu told journalists about his invitation to Mr Putin to visit Romania and continue the top-level dialogue started in Moscow.