President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Director-General, colleagues, welcome to Moscow. Good afternoon.
First, I would like to congratulate you on your re-election as Director-General of the International Labour Organization.
Russia has over many years maintained a very constructive working relationship with the International Labour Organization. We value highly this cooperation, and attach great importance to the tasks addressed by the ILO. Working closely with trade unions and protecting workers' rights are definitely priorities for us.
The previous programme of cooperation between Russia and the ILO ended this year and was implemented in full, as far as I understand. A new agreement should be signed today. Has the signing taken place yet?
Vladimir Putin: Of course, we will work alongside you to address fundamental issues within your area of competence, such as improving working conditions, increasing salaries, and providing social guarantees to workers.
There are many issues and problems, but that is part of life for any society or individual. I look forward to our continued cooperation.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder: (English transcript) Mr President, firstly, thank you very much for your time. You give me the opportunity to thank you personally for Russia’s support in my re-election.
As you have indicated, Mr President, we renewed the cooperation agreement between the Russian Federation and the ILO in a ceremony presided by the Deputy Prime Minister yesterday. I want to insist upon the importance that the ILO attaches to its partnership with Russia.
This has several dimensions. The first is our work with our Russian partners, Minister, the employers and the workers and I think we are working very constructively and very positively with them.
The second dimension is from our office in Moscow. We have a large office in Moscow. We cover the whole of the sub-region, all your neighbouring countries. I think Russia is very much a leader and the example in many social and labour areas to those countries. You share your experience.
And the third dimension, if you will allow me to mention, it is your leadership personally and of your government in the G20 and in the BRICS grouping.
Thanks to the leadership of the Russian Presidency the year before last and the particular contribution of Minister Topilin, Russia has established a labour track in the BRICS work and this is something that the ILO will wish to support in the future.
And finally, I want to recall the message that you delivered to the ILO conference in June 2011. I re-read your speech before coming to Moscow and there are two messages which come from it, which I think, are particularly apposite today, five years later.
The first is that you insisted on the importance of social dialogue and I see in this visit the strength of social dialogue and the cooperation between the partners in Russia. And secondly and I think most importantly, Mr President, you told us all to remember that social policy objectives must be at the top of the agenda of priorities around the world. I think Russia is giving an example of putting that into practice and it is very much in harmony with the ILO’s own objectives and our decent work agenda. I hope that you will continue to count upon the ILO as an ally and as a support in the years ahead. Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: That is what we will do.