President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Prime Minister, dear colleagues! I am very pleased to see you. Welcome!
I know that today you had a comprehensive discussion with your colleague, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. I hope that it was interesting and productive, and will certainly be beneficial to the development of our relations.
For my part, I note that although last year there was a slight decline in our trade and economic ties, this year we have not only covered all the losses from last year, but increased our trade volume. The drop was 17%, but the increase was 26 %. We have successfully developed our cooperation in the energy sector, and we have good, large-scale joint projects. Metallurgy, infrastructure, including radioelectronics, communications, military and technical cooperation – all these are on the rise. We are very pleased that the intergovernmental commission has increased its activities. And we know that the entire government of Vietnam is constantly on the look out for cooperative enterprises with the Russian Federation. Let me assure you that on the Russian side you will find exactly the same attitude. We intend to pay even more attention to developing relations with Vietnam, given the historical basis of our good relations and the prospects of our future cooperation.
Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung (simultaneous translation): Dear Mr President! Dear friends! First and foremost, I would like to say how happy I am to meet with you again. I am very grateful to you for this meeting, and for your sparing me this time to meet.
This is my first visit to Russia, to a country and a people that I love and admire.
I would like to thank the Russian leadership, Mr President and Madam Governor Matvienko [of St Petersburg], for showing me and the members of my delegation such hospitality and kindness from the moment we arrived in Russia.
As a former soldier, while visiting the Piskarevsky Cemetery, a monument to the Motherland, I was very moved and delighted by the heroic deeds of the citizens of Leningrad and of the Russian nation.
I fully agree with you that our relations are developing very well. However, the government of Vietnam believes that the current level of development is inadequate for our purposes, and that our relations have not yet realised their potential. For this reason, my visit to Russia is a part of a sustained attempt to develop, strengthen and expand relations that, though already well developed, can be taken to a new level. We plan to do this by increasing their breadth and depth in every sphere.