President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Prime Minister, dear colleagues,
Allow me to wish you a warm welcome to Moscow, the Russian capital. We are very pleased to see you here, Mr Prime Minister. It has been a long time since you were last here. We have a lot to discuss, both in terms of our bilateral relations and also because your country will be taking over the European Union presidency in the new year.
I will be happy to inform you on any questions of interest to you regarding developments in the domestic political situation in our country.
More than $16 billion in investment has come through the Luxemburg international financial centre to Russia over the first nine months of this year. Luxemburg’s own share in this investment is not great – as far as I know it falls somewhere short of $30 million. I think that we will have the opportunity to discuss this subject too.
Prime Minister of Luxemburg Jean-Claude Junker: Yes, Mr President, first of all, we are very happy to be here in Moscow. My last visit, I think, took place more than a year ago.
We are indeed getting ready now to preside over the European union and we felt it necessary to make this visit to Moscow before assuming our new responsibilities. Relations with Russia are of great importance for us and for the European Union. This is true for all of Europe, for the European Union and for Luxemburg, because things Russian are not foreign or alien to us, for Russia, as we see it, is one of the major players in Europe. We have come here, therefore, in order to talk together and to hear your views.
We want to hold back on these purely European attempts to give advice to the world at large and to Russia in particular. What we very much want is for the Luxemburg presidency of the European Union to help advance relations between Russia and the European Union. We have the choice of either wasting time discussing matters that raise no issues between us and are already in order, or taking a good look at the state of our relations and asking ourselves what we can do to raise their quality. In this respect, I propose that we discuss the issues that we really must settle. For this, we need to make use of the time that we still have before the fifteenth Russia-European Union summit. We have planned this lunch here in Moscow in order to talk things over and come to some decisions. Our bilateral relations are good. They are developing normally and fit into a context of mutual trust and understanding between the leadership in both our countries.
Thank you for congratulating me upon my birthday – I am slowly getting older. No one has noticed yet, but sooner or later everyone will notice.
We really are very pleased to be here, and as always in Moscow, we are being treated like princes.