Dear President of Mexico, dear Mrs. Marta Sahagun de Fox,
Ladies and Gentleman,
Allow me first of all to express my gratitude to Mr. Fox for his warm words of welcome and hospitable reception. Since the first minutes of our arrival in Mexico, we have felt the friendly attitude and hospitality of the Mexican people. And now, on behalf of the people of Russia, I would like to wish you peace, prosperity, well-being and happiness.
As you already noted, dear Mr. President, this is the first high-level visit in the history of Russian-Mexican relations. Although in fact, Russia and Mexico are linked by more than a century of active contacts. We are united by a tradition of support and cooperation in the most diverse areas.
Today we are fortunate to be in a country which looks to the future, adheres to democratic values, and also has a rich, many-sided culture, which has absorbed a diversity of traditions and eras.
I am certain that the talks ahead, Mr. President, will serve to continue the constructive and trusting dialogue that you began at the last meeting. I have very fond memories of these talks, and I am sure that we will be able to open a new page in relations between our two countries.
Although we are separated by thousands of kilometres, there are surprising parallels in the destinies of our countries. In the 20th century, both Russia and Mexico faced serious ordeals, and went through profound social changes. And nowadays, we have similar tasks to solve: we are raising the economy, and developing effective market mechanisms. We are strengthening the democratic foundations of federalisms, and striving for stability of our national position in the international economic and financial system.
On the whole, we aim to create a system of international relations where all participants’ opinions are taken into account. Today processes of globalization are not just changing people’s way of life, but also their awareness, and have an active effect on political, economic and financial interrelations.
At the same time, it is necessary to make these processes more predictable, and to do everything to ensure that they develop in a positive direction, and bring benefit to all the peoples of the world. This also concerns the unification of countries’ efforts in the fight against new modern threats.
We highly value Mexico’s historical contribution to international disarmament policy. It is sufficient to remember the Tlatelolco treaty, which initiated the creation of the first nuclear-free zone in the world. We are impressed by your country’s principled and firm stance in asserting its independence and sovereignty, in protecting and advancing its national interests, and for consistently ensuring the supremacy of the law in international relations.
I would note that the same principles lie at the basis of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation. This similarity in positions is a serious argument in favour of consolidating our cooperation. There are considerable prospects here, which I am certain will gain a practical footing.
In the talks ahead, dear Mr. President, we will aim at constructive discussion of a very wide range of problems. They are above all issues of cooperation on energy markets, in the sphere of investment and high technology, and small and medium business. A traditionally important area is education and science, and the humanitarian sphere as a whole. You spoke about this very well in your speech, Mr. President.
Over 500 Russian scholars, researchers and university lecturers are currently working in Mexico. I would like to note the fruitful cooperation in information technology between Moscow University and the Autonomous University in the State of Puebla. Over 2,000 Mexicans have graduated from Soviet and Russian universities and are now successfully working in business, science and other areas. We expect that the re-established Mexican association of graduates of Russian study institutes will also play an active role.
Dear friends, our countries look confidently to the future. We have major plans, real achievements and the desire to live in peace and prosperity. Our cooperation, undoubtedly, will enable further effective development in both Russia and Mexico. We will continue to strengthen Russian-Mexican friendship.
Thank you for your attention.