President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear ladies and gentlemen!
I am sincerely glad to welcome the President of Slovakia, Ivan Gasparovic, to Moscow. The present meeting allowed us to continue the interesting and useful exchange of opinions that we began in February last year in Bratislava.
During today’s talks we placed emphasis on developing our bilateral relations. We both consider that over the last few years Russia-Slovakian cooperation has consistently accelerated. And today we once again confirmed that we both aspire to further expanding this substantial and dynamic partnership.
We first touched on trade and economic cooperation. According to experts, by the end of 2006 our volume of trade will have passed the five billion dollar mark. This is a good result.
We consider diversifying trade to be one of our key tasks. To accomplish this task, we must deepen our cooperation as well as stimulate investments and scientific and technological cooperation.
Slovakia is an important link in the chain through which Russian energy is delivered to Europe. And in many respects, ensuring that our main partners on the European continent receive Russian energy resources depends on our cooperation.
The agreement on delivering and transporting Russian gas through Slovak territory will expire in 2008. And today we confirmed a basic agreement on concluding new long-term contracts. We talked about working together to expand transport infrastructure.
One important theme consisted in our countries’ cooperation in nuclear energy. Russian organisations are ready to participate in modernizing and completing a number of nuclear stations. A number of projects are already being carried out.
Joint investment programmes in the high-tech field can become a strong basis for future cooperation. One of these projects consists in constructing a cyclotron centre. This project is presently moving ahead successfully. Establishing an international laser centre in Bratislava is nearing completion.
We also talked about military and technological cooperation.
One example of combining the potential of our two countries in this field is the partially completed project to modernize the MiG – 29 fighters which are part of the Slovak Air Forces.
One priority issue in military technological cooperation involves quickly settling the issue of permits. Our experts are working on this task.
It is in both of our interests that we stimulate interregional cooperation increasingly actively as well as deepen our multifaceted relations in the spheres of culture and education. In the last few years the people of Russia and Slovakia have shown increased interest in one another. One prominent example of this is the Slovakian-Russian society that was established in Slovakia the day before Mr President’s visit. In turn, the Russian Friendship Society with Slovakia has long been active in helping establish direct contacts between our citizens, develop tourism, academic and student exchanges.
During our talks we exchanged opinions on the main issues in international and European policy. The fact that Slovakia is now a member of the UN Security Council opens new prospects for our cooperation in international affairs, a field in which many of our opinions coincide.
In conclusion I would like to thank the President of Slovakia for the constructive and frank dialogue that took place today. The agreements we reached will help develop our bilateral relations and ensure stability on the whole European continent.
President of Slovakia Ivan Gasparovic (Translated from Russian): Please allow me to offer my sincere thanks to Mr Putin for the reception. I would also like to thank the whole Russian party for greeting us so warmly and sincerely, and not only within the Kremlin, but also outside its walls.
I do not wish to repeat all the issues we discussed during our talks because President Putin has already mentioned all of them. I would like to say that we are entirely of the same opinion with respect to all the issues that have been raised. When we talked about energy and energy resources then President Putin confirmed all our notions and future plans.
We also spoke about the possibility of expanding our cooperation in the future. I am very happy that President Putin’s – and the whole Russian Federation’s – vision and attitude towards Slovakia has a very positive effect. With respect to nuclear energy, we see prospects for constructing power plants in the future. The perceptions of nuclear energy are changing and they are also changing within the European Union. We see prospects of cooperation in this area with the Russian Federation.
Mr President also noted the possibilities that the Russian Federation and the Republic of Slovakia have with respect to producing various components. In addition, he touched on the issue of investments – investments by the Russian Federation in Slovakia and by the Republic of Slovakia in the Russian Federation. We also talked about issues with respect to our common Slavic heritage and the possibilities of cooperation within the Slavic world.
We see prospects in renewing and intensifying cooperation in the spheres of education, science and culture.
If I were to evaluate today’s meeting in one sentence then I would say that the meeting between the highest state representatives was successful and will help ensure the prosperity and future successful cooperation between the two states. I think that the forthcoming meetings in the Omsk and Krasnoyarsk regions will also give us the possibility to intensify and develop regional cooperation.
Thank you for your attention.