Prime Minister of Slovakia Mikulas Dzurinda: Dear Mr President,
Allow me to welcome you to the government palace of the Republic of Slovakia.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am very pleased that, after meeting with President Bush yesterday, President Putin is now making his first official visit to the Republic of Slovakia.
Mr Putin’s visit to Slovakia is taking place in the year of the 60th anniversary of victory over fascism. Slovakia will always remember the important part that Russia played in the victory over fascism.
I would like to take this opportunity to discuss with President Putin all the major international issues that are a focus of attention not only for politicians but also for civil society. But above all, I intend discussing with Mr Putin our bilateral relations and our economic, cultural ties and relations in other areas.
I am sure that Mr Putin’s visit will help strengthen the traditionally good relations between Slovakia and the Russian Federation.
President Vladimir Putin: I have just had a very substantial and interesting discussion with the Slovak parliament, at which practically all the different political forces in Slovakia were represented. They showed me the state seal which is kept at the parliament. Now I am very pleased to have the opportunity to talk with the man who is in charge of the state treasury and the country’s finances and directs the country’s economic life.
We already have strong economic ties and they are growing all the time. Last year our trade increased overall with exports from Slovakia to Russia growing at a faster pace than exports from Russia to Slovakia. Our total trade has now reached a figure of $3 billion and that is not a bad result.
We work together in a wide variety of different sectors including the high tech and energy sectors and in industrial and investment cooperation. But we know that we can take our relations a lot further than the level we have reached today. I think that we should make full use of the positive spirit that characterises our cooperation and the good history of relations between our two countries to develop our economic ties, above all our economic cooperation.
I hope to have the opportunity to discuss all areas of our cooperation with my Slovak colleague and I am sure that we will find good and correct solutions that will be in the interests of our peoples.
Thank you for your attention.