The discussion focussed on bilateral cooperation, with an exchange of opinions on current international issues.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, friends, good afternoon,
I will not describe our relations now; they are rooted in historic traditions and are developing quite successfully.
I know that you had very substantive talks with Prime Minister of Russia Mr Medvedev and a number of documents were signed.
We are very happy that you accepted our invitation and came to Russia.
We have very good joint projects that require administrative support. However, we are noticing a slight decline in trade and economic ties and in trade volumes.
Therefore, your visit is timely, considering the need to analyse the reasons and the opportunities and adjust our cooperation.
Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico (retranslated): Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank you for your true Slavic hospitality.
I am very happy to have had the opportunity to meet the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation in the Slovak Republic, in Bratislava, in connection with the celebrations dedicated to the liberation of Bratislava. I would also like to thank you for the opportunity to take part in the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and victory over Nazism.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you for accepting the invitation.
Robert Fico (retranslated): Mr President,
The events of World War II are deeply rooted in the minds of our people – the people of Slovakia. Nothing could put to doubt the fact that 63,000 Red Army soldiers died liberating Slovakia, just as we do not doubt the fact that the role of this army in the defeat of Nazism is significant, outstanding.
We have learned such lessons that possibly our public needs to be provided with more information on these outstanding historic events. Therefore, I welcomed the decision of the Defence Ministry of the Slovak Republic to create a museum of World War II where the well-known monument to liberators is situated, so that the population of Slovakia, its students and schoolchildren could learn the facts of history, what really happened. Meanwhile, I want to guarantee that we would take good care of all the burial sites and memorials to the liberators – Red Army soldiers who gave their lives for the liberation of our country.
Mr President, my visit is also connected with the 17th meeting of the intergovernmental commission that took place in Bratislava in mid-May. We see absolutely no reason for our trade turnover to go down.
The decisions made by the intergovernmental commission, as well as decisions and topics we discussed today, could stimulate further development.
Yesterday I met with Russian Railways CEO Mr Yakunin and discussed with him specific aspects of our cooperation with Russian Railways business circles and within the framework of the Russian Railways projects in Slovakia and Russia. We also discussed the broad-gauge railway issue. This project enjoys continuous support from my Government.