President Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.
It is a great pleasure for me to have you here, in the Kremlin. I am happy to note that our agreements with President Bush are, indeed, being translated into reality. I am very hopeful that the visit of such a representative delegation of first-tier U.S. Administration officials is only the first step toward boosting our efforts in politics.
It should be said that economic relations between our two nations have improved dramatically in recent years. As President Bush said during his first European tour – something of paramount importance to us – the United States no longer regards Russia as a foe.
Given also the drastic changes that are currently taking place in the Russian economy, I think it would be fair to say that things related to our Soviet legacy – specifically, the non-recognition of Russia as a market economy and the 1974 Jackson-Vanick amendment – are no longer relevant today.
I hope your visit to our country and the contacts you have had with counterparts in recent years (I know that Russian and American colleagues have been working in close contact with one another within international organizations) will help us fill our relationship with new substance. This will enable us to develop relations without problems of the past standing in the way.