President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Minister, friends, good afternoon,
It is a pleasure to see you in Moscow. I know that you have held substantial talks with your Russian counterpart, our country’s foreign minister. I want to start by saying how greatly we value the level of our bilateral relations. We continue working together on the international arena, in the economy, and in humanitarian fields.
Our strategic partnership continues to develop. I plan to visit China this summer and I hope to have good, substantial and friendly talks with the Chinese President, with whom I have a very warm and friendly business and personal relationship.
Please pass on my very best wishes to Mr Xi Jinping.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (retranslated): Thank you for finding the time to meet with me. First of all, let me pass on your good friend President Xi Jinping’s warmest greetings.
This year, we celebrate 15 years since our countries signed the Agreement on Friendship, Good-Neighbourliness and Cooperation. We remember well that you personally signed this document of great historic significance 15 years ago. We hope very much that the celebration of this anniversary will provide a unique opportunity for all-round efforts to deepen our comprehensive strategic partnership and cooperation.
Speaking to the media just before, I said that China believes firmly in Russia’s development because Russia is a great nation. You have traversed many great trials in your history, and we believe that under President Putin’s leadership, the Russian people will pull together and will overcome these passing difficulties, including the downward trend in the economy, and will make even faster progress towards the goals of national renewal.
We also believe firmly in the prospects for practical cooperation with our Russian partners, despite the fact that our bilateral trade fell somewhat last year. This was linked primarily to prices for basic goods. But in terms of scale and quality, our reciprocal investment and trade are actually increasing.
Chinese imports of Russian crude oil increased by 28 percent, last year, to give one example, and our imports of Russian engineering products and high-tech goods were up by more than 30 percent. This just goes to show what great potential and opportunities there are for developing the practical cooperation between our countries.
We are ready to make a common effort with you to take our practical cooperation to a new level.