President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr President, dear colleagues.
Allow me to wish you a warm welcome to the Kremlin. I am very pleased to see you and I thank you, Mr President, for taking the opportunity to come to Russia at this time, on the eve of the summit planned for May 10. I think this is a very timely meeting as our specialists are working hard at the moment on the documents that we plan to sign together. The work on the common economic space and on security and humanitarian questions is progressing at the pace and level we hoped for and discussed together earlier.
So, once again, welcome, and I am really very happy to see you.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (back translation): Thank you very much, Mr President.
It is likewise a great pleasure for me to see you here in Moscow today. We consider this meeting important for the upcoming summit between the European Union and Russia that will take place next month. We also think this is a very good time to hold a comprehensive discussion on all the most important strategic aspects of our cooperation.
We know about the work our specialists on both sides are doing to prepare for the summit and we believe this is a good opportunity to think about our work in the future. I think that the detailed agenda that has been put together for this meeting and for the summit will provide us with a very good opportunity for detailed and in-depth study of the issues of interest to both Russia and the European Union.
Vladimir Putin: I fully agree, Mr President. I also would like to discuss a broad range of issues today. A visible and positive dynamic is underway in relations between Russia and the European Union and we intend to maintain it.