Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: Dear colleagues!
I would like to make a statement at the conclusion of these talks with Russia’s long-standing and trusted friend, President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias. And, first and foremost, I would of course like to say that we are completely satisfied with the way these talks have gone, with their tone, and of course with the documents that have just been signed. They fully reflect the friendly and close cooperation between our nations.
For many years our countries have been bound together in a genuine partnership. Today's meeting and high level talks have reaffirmed the need to extend our contacts and to work on all fronts.
What I have in mind is increasing trade and contacts in the field of investment (there is much more to be done in this area), links between medium and small businesses, and issues related to the development of relations in the sphere of tourism, culture, medicine, education and information exchange, all the things that our colleagues have dealt with today with by signing the relevant documents.
And we are also hoping that the current work of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation will resolve a number of other issues, in particular the signing of several important additions and changes to existing agreements, including in the area of taxation. This is important for both Cyprus and the Russian Federation.
Naturally we talked about international problems. Let me say straight off that our positions on most questions are either close or identical, and by this I mean European issues and international issues, including such sensitive ones as Kosovo, the situation in the Balkans and relations between Russia and the European Union. All these questions were discussed during the talks and in my discussions with Mr President.
We advocate the peaceful settlement of all these contentious issues on the basis of international law, the general consolidation of the international rule of law and the strengthening of the basic institutions upon which today’s system of international relations is founded, by which I mean first and foremost the United Nations. Incidentally this is reflected in the Joint Declaration on further strengthening the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Russia and Cyprus that we have just signed with Mr President.
For the Russian Federation it is also very important that our Cypriot partners support our country’s initiative on a comprehensive European security treaty. This is important for the creation of a new security architecture, one that will make the whole world more stable and peaceful. In this sense, we are starting from virtually the same position.
We also reaffirmed our country’s support in principle for a full-fledged, comprehensive and just settlement in Cyprus based on the relevant decisions of the Security Council of the United Nations and the agreement of the parties themselves, which must be achieved through voluntary and open dialogue. Naturally the Cypriots themselves will have to make the final decision.
I am sure that in broader terms the President of Cyprus’s visit to the Russian Federation will further strengthen the relations of friendship, partnership and cooperation between our countries. I am sure that it will.
President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias (Retranslated from Russian): Let me thank President Medvedev for the kind words he addressed to me and for what he said about the relations of friendship and cooperation between Russia and Cyprus. I'm very honoured that the President of Russia thinks of me as a long-standing and true friend of Russia. I think that he is right.
As a child I listened to programmes on Moscow radio in Greek. I was about ten or eleven when the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, and you cannot imagine my delight when they put a dog into space, and of course when the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin went into orbit and said “You cannot imagine what a wonderful spectacle this is”. Unfortunately, we have to acknowledge that there are forces that do not appreciate this beauty and are trying to destroy it.
And because the peoples of Cyprus and Russia and the nations of Cyprus and Russia are peoples and nations of creators, peoples and nations of builders, they are creating this beauty, and that is why they enjoy such close and friendly ties. And that is why today the initiative of the Russian Federation, of President Medvedev, to rebuild again, to create afresh and breathe new life into a system of security, trust and cooperation met with such a positive response from our side, because it is based on principles: the principles of the United Nations, the principles of the United Nations Charter, the principles of international law and the principles of the Helsinki Final Act.
And they lead to dialogue, to mutual understanding and to finding solutions to problems, rather than to what is called a new order of things but actually means anarchy and disorder.
Within the framework of the European Union, as a full member and of course in cooperation with other European Union countries, Cyprus has worked tirelessly to raise the relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation to a new level. I think I can say that the relations that exist between us — our friendship, understanding, cooperation, and attitudes – should constitute an example for relations between nations more generally.
President Medvedev talked about the agreements that were signed today. But it must be said that, in addition to these, there are many other agreements, and all of them together are the most straightforward and convincing evidence of the relations of cooperation and understanding that exist between our two countries.
Because Cyprus has a very great interest in this, I want to emphasise that concerning the agreement on avoidance of double taxation our two ministries worked very well together. They did a lot of very creative work, and we exchanged our creative views with the President, Mr Medvedev. And I want to reassure Cypriots, and not only businessmen but also ordinary people, that soon we will have some good and positive news in this area.
I have left what is most important for Cypriots to the end. This is the impartial, sincere, principled and unswerving position of Russia, which has always supported Cyprus in its uphill struggle to preserve the unity of the country, to liberate it from occupation, and to end human rights violations. In this area Russia, acting under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council and other international organisations, has always supported Cyprus. I am expressing the feelings of all the Cypriot people, regardless of their political views or what parties they belong to, when I stand at this podium and thank the President, the government cabinet and the people of the Russian Federation for their impartial, unswerving and salvific support for Cyprus.
And now for the very last thing: these are my own personal feelings that I want to share with the President of the Russian Federation. The first time I came to Moscow I was 23 years old. I came here to study and I was full of enthusiasm. And these were very romantic and important years for me because that was when I acquired the theoretical knowledge that assisted me in my political work, and in building my personal and family life. Of course at that point I never dreamed that I would one day be sitting next to the President of the Russian Federation in the Kremlin as President of the Republic of Cyprus and signing a political declaration.
I want to thank the Russian people for the peaceful weapons that it put into my hands. Of course I have to mention my party and of course I have to mention the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as it was then, because it was the connection between our parties that brought me to Moscow, to this beautiful city that I love — I love it as much as I love Nicosia. This is my personal confession and I hope you will forgive me for it, but I simply had to talk about the feelings that overwhelmed me when I sat now as the President of Cyprus beside the President of the Russian Federation.
I wish the President and the Russian people happiness, joy and every success.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you.