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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, my good friend! Colleagues, good afternoon. I sincerely welcome you to Moscow.
We have long-standing, very positive relations both with you personally and with your nation. And in spite of the difference in our nations’ geographical sizes, we consider Luxembourg an important trade and economic partner. We understand that much of it is the repatriation of capital, but nevertheless, Luxembourg is the third greatest investor in Russia.
You have been presiding over the Euro Group for many years, and in this regard, it is very important for me to have the opportunity to meet with you personally, to discuss the problems in the eurozone with you, because the European Union remains our most important trade and economic partner. I know that you take the problems in the eurozone very close to heart, and I know how much you have personally done to improve the situation.
As for our bilateral relations, in addition to cooperation in the financial sector, there’s also practical work underway in concrete sectors of the economy, including engineering, space, and infrastructure. And this is very important for us, because the quality of the services provided by your companies and the projects they propose are of the highest level, the highest, world-class quality.
We are very happy to see you.
Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President, my good friend. We are also very happy to be in Russia again.
Although we meet in other formats as well, it is a particular honour to meet with the President of Russia in the Kremlin to discuss our bilateral cooperation.
And our visit to Russia today is special because tomorrow, we will be unveiling a memorial in Tambov, honouring the memory of soldiers from Luxembourg who were forcibly recruited into the Wehrmacht. And I would like to express particular appreciation to the Russian authorities, to the Russian President and to the Russian Government for their assistance in organising this ceremony, which is very important for us.
Tomorrow evening, we will be going to Kazan. A few months ago, I had a meeting with the head of the Republic of Tatarstan. We would like to continue our cooperation with this region, which is currently developing actively.
Relations between Russia and Luxembourg are excellent, in spite of our difference in size. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is surrounded by smaller republics, but we are the only Grand Duchy in the world.
Indeed, the eurozone is currently facing some serious difficulties. Naturally, we will discuss them today. And as the president of the Euro Group, I would like to express my appreciation to Russia for the loyalty it has shown to our Euro Group. The frequent statements made by Russian authorities regarding the strategic partnership between our nations are also important to us. So I would like for us – Russia and the EU – to build more ambitious relations together.
In addition to the relations between Russia and the European Union, I must say that Russia and Luxembourg also have room for improvement in our relations.
Thank you for agreeing to see us today. We have been welcomed everywhere like kings.
Vladimir Putin: Like representatives of the Grand Duke. We await his visit to Russia.
Jean-Claude Juncker: Yes, I want to tell you that the Grand Duke accepted your invitation and will come to Russia in February at the very latest. Right now, our relevant agencies are trying to choose the best dates for this visit. I think we will complete this work soon.
Vladimir Putin: It is important that he is planning to come with a large group of entrepreneurs. Such visits always promote direct contacts.
Since you, Mr Juncker, are not the Grand Duke, we are happy to see you in any part of Russia, at any time and in any capacity, to discuss concrete issues in our cooperation.
I think it is very important that you will be visiting Russia’s regions. They hold enormous potential for cooperation, and there, you can resolve concrete issues directly, without excessive bureaucracy at the federal level.