Jorge Sampaio: Good Day. First of all, I would like to welcome the President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to Portugal, and wish him a “warm welcome to Portugal”. This is a reciprocal visit after my trip to Moscow in December 2001, and it is historic, as it is the first visit by the head of the Russian state to Portugal. Portugal considers Russia to be a strategic partner to ensure stability in Europe and Asia. Russia’s internal stability and its development are fundamental in making this possible. We would like to establish a new level of relations with your great country both bilaterally and in the format of the European Union. I know that President Putin shares this aspiration, and I am sure that his visit and presence here will make a very important contribution to achieving these goals. We were able to discuss a wide spectrum of issues related both to our bilateral relations and to issues of international politics in general. We discussed such themes as the relation between Russia and the European Union in light of the upcoming Russia-EU summit in the Hague, the war on international terrorism, the situation in Iraq, in Iran and Afghanistan, and prospects for starting the peace process in the Middle East. I also had the opportunity to express our satisfaction that Russia has ratified the Kyoto protocol, and it is with great pleasure and satisfaction that I can say that our opinions on many issues that we discussed proved to be very close. In conclusion, I would like once more to express my high assessment of the constructive approach that Russia is now showing in its international relations, and express the hope that in years to come, in future, we will be able to strengthen our relations, both bilaterally and in the format of Russia’ relations with the European Union and the North Atlantic alliance. Mr President, it was very pleasant, and a great honour for me, to receive you here. I wish you great success in your difficult and responsible position.
President Vladimir Putin: First of all I would like to thank Mr President for the invitation. This really is a reciprocal visit, but it was stimulated by “productive necessity”, I would say, as relations between our countries are developing, and developing very successfully, and have reached a good level. I will of course discuss economic relations in more detail with the Prime Minister, but I also discussed this theme in general with the President. We understand the concern of our Portuguese friends at a certain imbalance in trade, but today we have another task, another problem – to widen economic interaction and increase trade turnover. Relations are developing very well in many of our ministries. They are the Ministry for Emergency Situations and the corresponding Service to protect the civilian population in Portugal, the Ministry for internal affairs and the Defence Ministry. We came to the conclusion that we need to activate an intergovernmental commission on the development of trade and economic ties. And in the framework of this structure, we intend to look for additional resources to widen trade and economic relations. Mr President and I have discussed in detail mutual relations between Russia and the European Union, and Russia and NATO. I am very grateful to my colleague for his analysis of the development of relations between Russia and united Europe, and this is particularly important for me in connection with the upcoming Russia-EU summit in the Hague. We were pleased to note the growing cooperation between Russia and the North Atlantic bloc. I informed Mr President about recent joint activities, about the training exercises and the beginning of joint work of our navy in the Mediterranean. I must say that we talked in detail about the situation in Iraq, in the Middle East, and I am pleased to note that the positions of Russia and Portugal are virtually the same on these issues. I would like to thank Mr President for the very friendly approach to all the issues discussed. And, as I just said during our talk, one can only regret that we visit Portugal so rarely – this is the first time since 1779. Thank you.