Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. I am happy to welcome you to Moscow.
Russia has had a long and rich relationship with your country. I hope that Russia will enjoy good relations with the new authorities in Iraq. We have always developed relations with your country, meaning above all, with the people of Iraq.
We would like to see that the Iraqi people’s problems are settled as soon as possible. We know that the people of Iraq are going through difficult times. But we are confident that, relying on its ancient culture and the people’s talent, the Iraqi nation will overcome all these problems. We have many friends in Iraq at the level of both ordinary people and experts, and this does not mean the former party and state leadership.
Russian companies are ready to work energetically in Iraq. According to preliminary estimates, the overall level of investment by Russian companies could soon reach $4 billion. We need to discuss a whole series of areas of cooperation with you, which is linked not only directly with the economy, as we have a great interest in Arab, Iraqi culture. Students at Baghdad University study the Russian language with great interest. I know that it has one of the best Russian language faculties in the whole of the Middle East.
In general, we are very happy to see you. Welcome.