Mr Zapatero came to Yaroslavl to attend the Modern State and Global Security International Conference.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Prime Minister,
I am very happy to see you again, and not in the capital this time. We have met in Moscow and St Petersburg, but today we are meeting in Yaroslavl, and I want to thank you for accepting our invitation and coming to this conference. It is a great pleasure for us and we are very happy to see you here.
Today we will talk about global security. This is a subject of the most pressing relevance, especially at this time of global financial crisis and a mass of problems in various corners of the world.
I do not think we can solve all the problems, but I think we will make progress in our perception of these complex issues and get a better understanding of each other’s points of view, and this is very important. As for our bilateral relations, they are showing good growth. We are working together on a number of big projects despite the current economic difficulties, and we have our traditional sectors in which we cooperate. I hope this will all continue.
Spain will assume the presidency of the European Union next year, and this is something we are looking forward to. I am sure that we will be able to use this time to raise the level of cooperation between the united Europe and the Russian Federation.
Once more, I welcome you to Yaroslavl and thank you for visiting us.
Prime Minister of Spain Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (as translated into Russian): Thank you, Mr President, for the invitation. It is always a pleasure to visit Russia, and it is a pleasure to take part on this particular occasion in the important conference in Yaroslavl. I am grateful for the hospitality that Spanish delegations, representatives of Spain’s government, always receive in Russia.
It is very good that you have chosen this venue, this city, rather than Moscow or St Petersburg. Everything I have seen so far in Yaroslavl has been very interesting. It is always good to have a chance to visit any city in as big and great a country as Russia.
Mr President, I want to congratulate you on this initiative to hold such an important international conference on global security. We face serious challenges, economic hardships, international problems, security issues. It was an important decision to hold this international conference here, because we are all responsible together for global security, which depends in large part on the relations between Russia and the European Union.
Europe, the Greater Europe, historically was the place of conflicts and peace. The European Union is a community of countries that seek and strive for peace, and this is why understanding between the Russian Federation and the European Union is a defining factor for security and stability in the world.
As you said, Spain will hold the European Union presidency in the first half of next year. Our task during the Spanish presidency is to open a new page in the EU’s relations with Russia. We want to achieve great understanding, cooperation and trust in each other. We will promote these goals to our citizens so that they understand and take greater part in them, and so that we can respond to challenges together.