President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Secretary General, dear colleagues!
Let me wish you a warm welcome to the Kremlin. I would like to point out that our relationship wih NATO has been developing quite successfully. Above all I mean, of course, the work of the Russia – NATO Council and the plans we have determined together for joint work.
Among our priorities we have singled out the war on terrorism. And I am pleased to note that we have moved from general declarations to specific joint work. This is shown by Russia’s involvement in the “Joint efforts” operation in the Mediterranean which is conducted by NATO and directed to preventing terrorist acts at sea and movement of criminal elements at sea.
Also of great importance are our work on compatibility of our armed forces, air-traffic control and the anti-missile problem.
This year we have planned about 200 joint operations in the military sphere.
We are very glad to see you here in Moscow, Mr Secretary General and dear colleagues.
We hope that your visit will contribute to the further development of relationships between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Orgnisation..
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer: Mr President, thank you very much. Thank you once again for the hospitality shown to me and my delegation. It is a great pleasure to be back in Moscow.
I agree with you: if I look at our cooperation, I can state that it is developing well in the practical as well as in the political field.
I can agree with what you said: I believe that we must fight against terrorism together, against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We must do this together. Here the interests of the Russian Federation and NATO are exactly the same. We must particularly concentrate on problems in fragile states, and must adapt to the new security environment as best we can, in ensuring security by NATO and by the Russian Federation, and of course in the framework of the NATO – Russia Council.
So thank you once again, Mr President, for your hospitality. We must now define where exactly we can work together in the practical field and also in the political field.
Mr Putin: Indeed, our political contacts are developing well, and the sphere of interaction in the political sphere is also broadening. There are also practical aspects for possible joint work which we can make more effective. For example, in combating drug trafficking. And if we, Russia and NATO, develop and implement a “pilot project” in the near future for training special services employees for combating drugs in Afghanistan and, say, in Central Asia, I think that this will be a good contribution to solving one of the most important and serious problems of the present day – the war on drugs.