President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Mr Prime Minister!
I am pleased to continue our negotiations in an enlarged format. Once again, I would like to reiterate that, in my opinion, Russian-Spanish relations are developing brilliantly and have every reason to continue to do so, even despite the economic difficulties facing the entire international community today.
Today we discussed matters of international cooperation, foreign policy, including pan-European policy, and talked about our bilateral relations. I think that we should now pay attention to specific economic projects, especially given that our new chairman of the Intergovernmental Commission [on the Russian side] and the person who will be directly responsible for all Spanish contacts, Mr Zhukov [Alexander Zhukov, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia], is present at this meeting, at these talks.
The sixth meeting, the sixth session of the Intergovernmental Commission will take place on 12 November 2008 in Madrid and our colleagues will meet face-to-face. We have things to talk about: major projects in the energy sector, major projects in transport and communications, a number of projects in the cultural and educational spheres. You just mentioned the possibility of cooperation between universities in connection with the study of Spanish and Russian languages. I think this is a very good idea, especially because we have always taught Spanish in Russia and during the Soviet period with great pleasure. When I went to college here at St Petersburg University, then in Leningrad, the Spanish department was one of the university’s most prestigious.
So in that sense I think we have a very good basis for continuing our contacts. I think we'll work on this issue.
Prime Minister of Spain Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (as translated from Russian): Thank you very much for your courtesy, for your hospitality and for your kind words. It seems to me that the purpose of today's meeting, our first meeting with the new Russian President, is to give an impetus to the new and very interesting agenda of our overall work.
Our two countries have very good relations and our ambassadors can confirm this. Spain is well aware that relations between the European Union and Russia are vital ones. Russia needs the European Union and the European Union needs Russia.