President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President,
I would like to continue our talks in enlarged format.
The Republic of Cyprus is a longstanding friend for Russia. We have discussed the development of our relations in all different areas and have examined the international situation. Now we will look at our bilateral cooperation – our economic, cultural and humanitarian ties.
Our colleagues in the Intergovernmental Commission, who put together this good set of agreements for signature, have worked well. There are interesting proposals for cooperation in developing tourism, work together in the humanitarian sphere, cooperation on the construction of a number of facilities – indeed, ties in all the areas in which we have established active bilateral contacts.
We are ready to examine other issues too. We know that Cyprus has a water supply problem, for example, and we are ready to have our company get involved in this work if this is of interest to our Cypriot friends.
So, let us now begin our discussions of these bilateral issues in enlarged format now.
President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias (Retranslated from Russian): Thank you, Mr President.
First of all, I want to note the spirit of cooperation present during all of our discussions so far today. I also want to say how pleased I am to see that we share the same views on a great variety of issues, international, regional and bilateral. This will be reflected in the political declaration we will sign at the end of these talks.
I want to note that this is first time in the history of Cyprus’ relations with first the Soviet Union and now Russia that our two Presidents will sign such a declaration. It is a great honour and pleasure for me to be the one to sign this declaration.
As far as our bilateral relations are concerned, I want to express my satisfaction with the way they are developing, especially our economic ties, in the tourism sector in particular. Russia is one of the countries with the biggest number of tourists visiting Cyprus, and I would like to thank you for this.
Cyprus did not require Russian citizens to obtain visas until it joined the European Union. This has created a number of problems of course, but this something we did not have a choice about. I want to say to you that we are working towards abolishing this system completely within the European Union framework.
As we see it, the European Union and the Russian Federation are partners, and relations between partners, in politics and in other areas, should develop on a basis of mutual trust.
In this context, I welcome your initiative on renewing and modernising the European security system. I also want to say that I firmly believe that our European partners will ultimately share Cyprus’ view.
Dmitry Medvedev: If we continue working together with our European partners, as we are now, and I count on your position very much, I hope that we will succeed in convincing our European friends and partners of the usefulness of our initiative.