President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, it is a great pleasure to see you again.
Next year, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. It is a pleasure to see the positive development in our relations, and all the more pleasing to say that we see this development in practically all areas.
As I looked through various reference materials, I saw that 15 percent of all doctors in your country received their training at Russian universities. We are very happy to continue developing our humanitarian ties, as well as our economic and investment ties, and of course, our military-technical cooperation and relations in the military sector too.
We are very pleased to see you. Welcome, Mr Prime Minister.
Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak: Thank you very much Mr President. I am equally delighted to meet with you. I do thank you for all of the arrangements you have made, and particularly for the opportunity for us to be here in this beautiful resort of Sochi. I’d like to compliment you for creating this beautiful resort and I’m sure it will be one of the resorts that will be admired around the world.
I am also delighted that we can have this bilateral meeting on the sidelines of this jubilee summit between ASEAN and the Russian Federation. I think we have come to the stage where we can move our bilateral and multilateral ties to a stronger footing so that we can take advantage of the opportunities both in ASEAN as well as with respect to the developments in Russia.
On the economic front, we are quite pleased with the level of trade between our two countries, although in the first two months of this year the figures had a slight drop, understandably given the global economic situation. But we believe that if we can explore with a means to increase – significantly increase – our level of bilateral trade, this will certainly strengthen our bilateral ties.
In this respect, I’d like to suggest that we look into the distinct possibility of embarking on a free trade arrangement between Malaysia and the EAEU in the near future because we see that such an arrangement could lead to a significant increase in our bilateral trade and even investment.
We would also like to consider greater connectivity between our two countries. Tourism is a sector that can promote our bilateral ties, not only business-to-business, but also people-to-people. Given the security concerns in many other places in the world, Malaysia can provide Russian tourists with a safe haven for their holidays abroad, so we would like to see more charter flights into Malaysia and begin exploring direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Moscow and other parts of Russia.