Mr Medvedev and Mr Zuma discussed opportunities for developing trade, economic, and humanitarian ties, and stepping up cooperation in international organisations and groups.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, I give you my warmest greetings and am very pleased to see you.
We have both just arrived from the nuclear summit in Seoul. That was a very useful event given the issues facing humanity today regarding the use of nuclear energy, the opportunities that nuclear energy offers us, and the need to prevent violations in this area.
We are here in India now to take part in the BRICS summit. This group, the BRICS group, is still in the process of development, but its member-countries are all fast-growing economies and it is extremely important for us to meet regularly to exchange information and learn about what our friends are doing, what economic policies they are following, and in some cases work out a coordinated position given the global economy’s current difficulties and the fact that as fast-growing markets we also have an influence on the general situation in the world. In this same way, we can help to influence development in our countries too.
“South Africa is one of Russia’s biggest partners on the African continent and our ties have great potential. We should help our economic cooperation to develop as successfully as our political contacts.”
I am therefore very pleased to have this chance to exchange views with you on relations between our two countries. South Africa is one of Russia’s biggest partners on the African continent. I have said on many occasions that our ties have great potential. For now, our political ties are perhaps a lot stronger than our economic relations, and so we have a lot of work to do to help our economic cooperation to develop as successfully as our political contacts.
I propose this agenda for our meeting today and am of course ready to discuss any other issues you might wish to raise.
President of South Africa Jacob Zuma (retranslated): Thanks very much Mr President, thank you very much for the warm welcome.
I hope you travelled very well from South Korea. I think we had a very good meeting during our nuclear conference. I think that for the first time, there was a clear indication that many countries are beginning to gravitate towards a common understanding on these issues.
So I am very happy to meet you here. BRICS is a very important alliance when it comes to global issues, in particular, economic issues that are challenging the world today. It is very important that BRICS members are able to meet, exchange views, and try to find answers to these challenges. I hope that our meetings as BRICS will help us to move forward in many ways.
As for fast-growing economies, they play an important role in the global economy. Therefore, our meeting makes it even more important to discuss these issues. We will have time to discuss many issues.
With regard to bilateral relations between the Russian Federation and South Africa, it is very important that our relations are very good, and historically, we have a good foundation for cooperation.
It is imperative that we work on how to expand our economic relations, using the advantages that we have between our two countries. We can do a lot and we are ready to discuss issues of our bilateral cooperation.
So I’m looking forward to a more detailed discussion. Thank you.