President Vladimir Putin:
Today’s ceremony marks the beginning of your diplomatic mission in Russia, and I sincerely wish you success in this important and responsible work – work which is designed to advance our cooperation in all areas.
I am certain that you will find it interesting to work here in Moscow from a professional point of view.
You well know that we constantly advocate the supremacy of international law, and also its basic principles such as respect of territorial integrity, sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of other countries. We are absolutely convinced that truly equal partner relations can only be founded on these principles.
At the same time, we believe that a policy based on ideological stereotypes, inertia of block approaches or double standards is counterproductive. The experience of history shows: this policy has a very negative effect on the entire system of international relations, and the situation in individual countries.
The development of equal, mutually beneficial cooperation with our close neighbours is our priority. We have, I hope, a common approach here, dear gentlemen.
I would like to stress once more that Russia is interested in consistent strengthening of partnership with the nations and international organisations that you represent.
We give great importance to the development of cooperation with Brunei: we see it as an important part of our policy in the Asian and Pacific region, and intend to increase bilateral ties, above all in the trade and economic sphere.
Russia has firm traditions of good neighbourly relations with the Republic of Finland. We plan to carry out major trade and economic and investment projects, and to increase direct contacts between regions. We talked about this a great deal at our last meeting with the Finnish President in Petersburg.
I would like to note the dynamic nature of Russian-British ties. We have reached a high level of political dialogue, and aim to increase the volumes and quality of economic cooperation. I am certain that new possibilities for joint work will be opened in 2005, when Great Britain will be the chairman of the G-8, and of the European Union from the second half of the year.
We value the traditionally warm and trusting relations with India. Today, political, economic and cultural ties between our two countries are gradually developing. During the Russian-Indian summit in December, we confirmed a policy for developing and enriching strategic partnership/
Long-standing relations link Russia and Iraq. In the current difficult period of this country’s history, we wish the Iraq people swift stabilisation of the situation and the establishment of peaceful life. We are certain that this is the first and most important condition for building a sovereign, integrated Iraq nation, and for its stable development in the interests of all national and religious groups. We believe that the international community should pay more attention to the economic revival of Iraq. On our part, we intend to provide the Iraq people with the necessary humanitarian aid, and strengthen mutually beneficial business ties.
Georgia is not just a neighbour of Russia: our people are linked by a common history, an interweaving of spiritual and cultural roots, and we are sincerely interested for Russian-Georgian relations to develop in the spirit of partnership and good-neighbourliness. This fully matches the national interests of our countries.
We value the traditions of mutual respect between Russia and the Sovereign Order of Malta. We believe that we are able to work effectively in many areas, including humanitarian assistance.
I am glad to welcome a representative of the European Union in this hall today. Russia sees this influential integrated union as one of its strategic partners. It is in our common interests to solve the problems that face the continent, Europe’s increased weight in international politics and global economic integration.
I am certain that the four common spaces created within the framework of this partnership will become an important link in the formation of a single greater Europe. We expect that this joint work will bring palpable benefits to our citizens in the near future.
Dear colleagues and friends,
Little time is left before the new year of 2005 begins. I sincerely wish that it is successful and prosperous for your countries and peoples. Allow me to wish you for your work in Russia to be rich and fruitful.
I wish you professional and personal success.