President Vladimir Putin: Mr President,
It is a sincere pleasure for me to welcome you to Moscow. This is not our first meeting. I would like to note that relations between our two countries have been developing well over these last years. Our bilateral trade has increased and our political contacts have also intensified considerably.
But at the same time we still have problems, problems that we are both aware of. They concern the need to diversify our ties and correct a certain imbalance in our trade relations. I do not think, however, that the solution lies in cutting back imports or exports from one or the other country, but in looking for ways to achieve a better trade balance and open markets up to goods.
Overall, I am very pleased that you are here today in Moscow and that we will have the opportunity to discuss the full range of our relations.
President of Mongolia Nambaryn Enkhbayar (speaking in Russian): Thank you, Mr President.
It was with pleasure that I accepted your invitation to make this visit to Russia. I have brought with me quite a large delegation that covers all the different areas of our cooperation. This visit is taking place as we celebrate 85 years since diplomatic relations were established between Russia and Mongolia.
I would like to take this opportunity to note that your visit to Mongolia in 2000 gave impetus to and, you could say, even marked the start of a more active period in our relations. As you rightly noted, our political contacts have intensified convincingly over recent years and we have seen a rise in economic cooperation and bilateral trade.
I think that this visit will also provide a boost to our cooperation. Mongolia has always had very good and friendly relations with Russia. This is something that we and our people value. Various surveys show that around 70 percent of people in Mongolia think that Russia is the most reliable and promising partner for our country and our people. You could say that this idea sits comfortably in the minds of our people and I think that this is important because the friendly relations between our peoples help the leaders of our countries and help our ministers and those responsible for developing our relations to work with greater confidence and with a broader vision of the path this development should take.
Once again, thank you very much for this invitation and we are very happy to be here.
Vladimir Putin: We also need to live up to the expectations of our citizens. I said that our bilateral trade is growing, but it is still only half of what it was in the late 1980s-early 1990s.
True, Mongolia’s exports to Russia are increasing at a very rapid rate. Our exports to your country rose by 8 percent last year, but Mongolia’s exports to our country increased by 80 percent. This is a good trend, in any event.