President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Prime Minister,
I am very happy to see you, to make your acquaintance and to welcome you to Moscow. I am pleased to note that relations between Russia and Spain have been developing extremely well, especially over recent years. This concerns not only our good cooperation at political level, although this is very important, but even more important is that over recent times we have been able to confirm the high level of relations between our peoples, relations which have always been full of trust and warmth. By developing our economic ties, we have increased trade between our countries by 15 percent over the last year.
But we are aware of the problems we have with our trade and economic ties too; we know that they do exist.
I am very happy to have this opportunity to discuss international issues with you and, of course, to see where we stand on the anti-terrorist problem. In general, we are very pleased to see you here, so — welcome to Russia!
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero: Thank you Mr President. It is a great honour for me to be here in Moscow today. I would like to thank you for being understanding about our having changed the date of this visit. This change was due to parliamentary democracy and the need to struggle with the opposition, hence I found myself having to stay in Spain.
First of all, I would like to pass on the warmest greetings from King Juan Carlos, who particularly insisted that I pass on his greetings to you. The King is especially fond of you.
Vladimir Putin: The King of Spain and I have good relations. We are very happy to have such good relations with the Spanish royal family. We sense that they are well disposed towards our country and we have great respect for the King and for his family. Please convey to him my very best wishes. Of course, His Majesty and all the members of his family are always welcome guests in Russia at any moment.
Jose Zapatero: It is a good time for the royal family just now because yesterday it was announced that the King and Queen will be having another grandchild, their fourth. They were very happy yesterday to receive this news.
His Majesty and the Spanish government are very interested in confirming the dates of your state visit to Spain next year.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you. I think that our Foreign Ministries will definitely arrange and confirm this. I remember the King of Spain’s last visit when he came to go hunting. In the end, the hunt did not come to much because first I did not fire a shot and he laughed at what a hunter I was, and then a beautiful big deer came straight towards him and he also did not shoot but waved his hands and said that he felt sorry for the deer.
I am very grateful for the invitation to visit Spain and my colleagues and I will definitely make this visit. I would like it, however, to fit in with your schedule too, and we will discuss this separately.
Jose Zapatero: As far as I know through our embassies, they have already made some progress and there is a preliminary agreement for the visit to take place in April.
Vladimir Putin: Excellent. This is good.