The discussion covered bilateral cooperation and the international agenda, as well as prospects for relations between Russia and the EU in view of Luxembourg’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues, friends, good afternoon,
I am very happy to see you again. We met briefly in Normandy. Luxembourg currently holds the presidency of the European Union [the Council of the European Union] therefore it is a pleasure to see you in both your capacities.
Regarding bilateral relations, this year we are marking 80 years of diplomatic relations. I hope we will also be able to discuss the state visit by Luxembourg’s head of state. I believe we are planning this visit for the beginning of next year.
In terms of bilateral relations, I would like to note that we are seeing a certain decline in trade and economic ties, though Luxembourg remains a large investor in Russia’s economy, with the total accrued investment amounting to about $40 billion. Russia’s investment in Luxembourg is much smaller, but the figure is nevertheless impressive — $12 billion.
We are very happy to see you. Welcome.
Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel (retranslated): Mr President, thank you very much for receiving us today in Sochi – the city that hosted the Olympic Games last year.
The state visit you have mentioned is being prepared and we are taking it very seriously.
I believe we are meeting at a very important moment. Yesterday I had the opportunity to discuss bilateral relations and the international agenda with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
As you may remember, in Normandy you and I celebrated the landing and the end of the war. Today the world is going through a conflict, a crisis. There are developments in Syria; there is a crisis that affects everyone. We have a common enemy and we have a common goal, which is fighting terrorism.
I heard your speech [at the UN General Assembly] in New York, I also heard other leaders who spoke at the United Nations, and we will discuss this with you.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss our bilateral relations as well as relations between Russia and the European Union, which are probably not going through very good times now.
I have been closely following the Normandy format round-table discussion in Paris, and we have hope.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. We will talk about all these things.