President Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me genuine pleasure to receive in Moscow once again our respected guest and friend, President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez.
I am sure that his official visit to Russia will be a real milestone in developing our partnership.
I would like to emphasise from the outset that the ties between our two countries have strengthened noticeably of late.
Our political dialogue is developing and our business ties are improving. The talks we have just held confirm our mutual desire to develop our cooperation in all areas. We discussed trade and economic cooperation issues in detail.
I would like to note that we have seen positive trends emerge recently. Last year, for example, trade between our countries more than doubled. I think that Venezuela’s decision to recognise Russia as having a market economy contributed greatly to this. One of the most important tasks we have before us today is to expand and diversify our trade and step up investment, scientific-technical and industrial cooperation. We see good prospects in the oil and gas sector – a sector in which Russia and Venezuela both have major resources and solid experience and are both among the world’s leading exporters.
We will develop our relations in the military-technical sector, in transport infrastructure and in the construction of energy-sector facilities in Venezuela.
The Russian-Venezuelan High-Level Intergovernmental Commission is to play an important part in developing our economic cooperation.
The international agenda was also an important part of our talks today. We noted that Russia and Venezuela share very close positions regarding many of the issues on the international agenda.
Both Russia and Venezuela support the creation of a fair and democratic system of international relations, a system founded on the principles of equality, cooperation and the mutual respect of each others’ interests.
We consider overall strengthening of the United Nations to be a crucial element in our cooperation.
We will continue to join forces to combat global threats. These affirmations, and the other positions we have established, are reflected in the joint declaration that we signed today. I had the chance to spend practically the entire morning discussing the whole range of cooperation issues between our countries with the President in an informal setting. We are confident that our partnership has a successful future and I would like to say how certain I am that our work together will be fruitful and will benefit our peoples.
I would like to thank the President for this frank and detailed discussion.