Vladimir Putin met with Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Peter Pellegrini. The two leaders discussed current issues of developing bilateral relations in different areas and items on the international agenda.
This is the first meeting between Vladimir Putin and Peter Pellegrini who took office in March 2018. The Prime Minister of Slovakia arrived in Russia to attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues, friends,
I am very pleased to welcome you to St Petersburg.
Thank you for finding the time to come to the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. At the beginning of our conversation I would like to note that our countries have traditionally enjoyed trust-based and friendly relations. This also has an impact on our economic ties.
We consider your country to be one of our main partners in economic cooperation. Suffice it to say that our trade increased by almost 25 percent in one go in the first quarter of this year.
We have an intergovernmental commission working. I believe its next meeting will take place in October.
Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov: In Sochi.
Vladimir Putin: In Sochi. Excellent.
We are very happy to see you and to have this opportunity to discuss with you the entire range of bilateral ties.
Prime Minister of Slovakia Peter Pellegrini (retranslated): Mr President,
We are very pleased to have this opportunity to discuss with the Russian delegation the main aspects of our good relations.
In my opening remarks, I would like to emphasise that our citizens have a lot in common, such as friendly relations in the past and today, and close ties that go back a long way.
We cherish the memory of our joint fight against Nazism. Slovakia is not rewriting history. We have a lot of respect for the Red Army and do not question its role in liberating our country at the end of World War II. We hold in high respect its heroism and sacrifice.
I am very happy, therefore, that before our meeting today, we laid a wreath at the Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery in St Petersburg and honoured the memory of those who died during the siege of Leningrad.
We are also pleased to be here in the run-up to the August celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising. We would be honoured to welcome the highest-level Russian representatives to our country. We would like you to attend these celebrations.
We had a very good conversation with the Prime Minister and the ministers in Moscow yesterday. Indeed, trade is going up. We can also note a very good and open cooperation in energy. Slovakia is a good partner of Russia in the transit of gas and oil. We believe future projects will not affect this partnership.
We are pleased to see major tourist flows going both ways. We cooperate in education as well. The increased interest in Slovakia in studies of the Russian language is a positive sign. We hope this trend will continue.
Once again, my ministers and I would like to thank you for the opportunity to see you and discuss the issues that are of interest for both sides.