Letters of credence were presented by new ambassadors from nineteen countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, Gambia, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Mali, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Somalia, Turkmenistan, and as well as the letter of credence of the Apostolic Nuncio to Russia, the diplomatic representative of the Vatican.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,
I welcome you to this ceremony of presentation of your letters of credence and congratulate you on the official start of your important and responsible diplomatic missions in Moscow.
I hope that your efforts to develop relations between the countries you represent and Russia will help to activate political dialogue, strengthen trade and economic ties, and expand humanitarian contacts. You can count on the support of the Russian government, our executive and legislative authorities, business communities and public groups.
I want to emphasise that Russia is ready to work together with all countries in a spirit of honest and mutually beneficial partnership. We seek to guarantee equal and indivisible security, resolve global and regional problems, and settle conflicts on the solid basis of international law and the UN Charter. These are our guiding principles as we decide our approaches to the most pressing issues on today’s agenda, including the Syrian crisis.
Syria is essentially a test today for the international community’s ability and readiness to join forces, together take a stand against terrorism, a common threat for us all, and find adequate responses to other global challenges to security and stability.
Russia will work together with other interested countries to facilitate the launch of dialogue between the Syrians themselves. We believe that only a political solution can resolve this conflict, stop the bloodshed, open the way for millions of refugees to return home, and rebuild this country’s economy and social sector.
Ladies and gentlemen, a few hours ago, the presidential election ended in the United States of America. We followed this election closely. I want to congratulate the American people on the end of this election cycle and congratulate Mr Donald Trump on his victory in the election.
We heard the statements he made as candidate for president expressing a desire to restore relations between our countries. We realise and understand that this will not be an easy road given the level to which our relations have degraded today, regrettably. But, as I have said before, it is not Russia’s fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.
Russia is ready to and seeks a return to full-format relations with the United States. Let me say again, we know that this will not be easy, but are ready to take this road, take steps on our side and do all we can to set Russian-US relations back on a stable development track.
This would benefit both the Russian and American peoples and would have a positive impact on the general climate in international affairs, given the particular responsibility that Russia and the US share for maintaining global stability and security.
Ladies and gentlemen, the heads of 19 diplomatic missions are present here today. As per tradition, I will say a few words about Russia’s relations with the states you represent.
We stand for further developing Russia-New Zealand relations on a mutually beneficial basis. We hope to be able to resume the talks on a free trade area between the Eurasian Economic Union and New Zealand.
Our relations with the Republic of Burundi have always been friendly. We are discussing several cooperative projects in the oil and gas sector and in mining. We wish your country an early restoration of internal political stability and national accord.
Russia and the Hellenic Republic have a common history and close cultural and spiritual ties. We had detailed discussions of the entire range of bilateral cooperation issues and international affairs during my visit to Athens in May 2016. I am convinced that the cross-cultural year between Russia and Greece will boost the development of multifaceted ties and strengthen friendship between our nations.
Our successful cooperation with Colombia in energy, mechanical engineering and infrastructure includes the implementation of joint research and technical projects. We welcome the final agreement on peace, which was signed in September this year to put an end to a decades-long civil war.
We are developing partner relations with the Republic of Mali in the political, trade, economic, cultural and other areas. In June this year, Russia supported the UN Security Council resolution to extend the mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali.
Our relations with Montenegro have always rested on the old traditions of friendship. We hope that the Montenegrin leadership will pursue a balanced foreign policy, so that we will be able to maintain our relations in all areas.
Russia seeks to develop ties with the Federal Republic of Somalia. We note your government’s efforts to achieve national reconciliation and harmony and to rebuild the economy and social sector.
We support political dialogue with the Republic of Chad, all the more so as your country currently holds the African Union presidency. We look forward to President Idriss Deby’s visit to Russia and are preparing for this occasion concrete agreements in trade, the economy and humanitarian areas.
Our cooperation with the Islamic Republic of the Gambia is based on the principles of friendship and mutual respect. We value our Gambian partners’ desire to expand bilateral ties in all different areas.
This year, we mark the 125th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Luxembourg. Our countries’ cooperation is mutually advantageous and diverse.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is one of Russia’s biggest economic partners and Dutch business works successfully with Russian partners in trade and investment.
As good neighbours, Russia and Finland have developed truly unique experience of political, trade, economic and cultural cooperation.
We maintain active contacts with President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and have constructive dialogue on all issues on the bilateral and international agendas, including the situation in the Baltic region.
Our relations with Iceland are also mutually advantageous. I am sure that cooperation on Arctic region issues, developing our work together in fisheries, and carrying out joint innovative and science-intensive projects, including geothermal energy projects, is in both countries’ interests.
This December, we mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina. As one of the guarantors of the peace accords on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia consistently supports strict respect for the accords by all parties.
Mr Ambassador of Cambodia, your country is celebrating Independence Day today. We congratulate you and your country. I sent my congratulations to your head of state today, and I want to express my hope that Russia and Cambodia will continue developing their relations in all areas for the benefit of our peoples and in the interests of stability and security in Southeast Asia.
We are happy with our constructive cooperation with the Vatican. We share common positions in many respects on the serious problems on today’s foreign policy agenda. Together, we support the formation of a common front to combat the growing threat of terrorism and extremism, and we defend the importance of strengthening the moral foundations in international affairs.
Mr Ambassador of the Polish Republic, we are both aware that it would be difficult to call the state of Russian-Polish relations satisfactory today. But at the same time, we believe that restoring political dialogue is possible only on the basis of mutual respect and pragmatism, and we are ready to do everything we can to achieve this.
In developing our friendly relations with the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, we place great importance on cooperation on geological exploration, extraction and processing of hydrocarbons, including development of offshore fields.
We value greatly our multifaceted strategic partnership with Turkmenistan. I met last week in Sochi with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and we agreed to activate trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian ties and step up our work together in the Caspian region.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me conclude by wishing you sincere success in your responsible work. I hope that you will take away with you the most positive impressions of your time and work in Russia.
Thank you for your attention.