Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr President!
Allow me to warmly welcome you to Moscow. I am very pleased that we have such a close relationship with Algeria, a country that is a key partner for Russia not only in North Africa, but also in the Mediterranean.
Our relations are developing and evolving in many different areas. Nevertheless, we have things to talk about. And above all, of course, we are talking about our trade and economic relations. We know that twelve years from now, I think, Algeria and the EU will set up free trade zone. Customs duties on certain types of goods from Europe are already being abolished. And of course we would like not to fall behind in this situation. We would like to make sure that our producers and our firms do not encounter any difficulties on your market.
Algeria is the world's fourth largest gas exporter. You know that Russia is also one of the largest exporters. And it is essential that we are in contact with Algeria on energy issues. Especially since this year Algeria is chairing OPEC. In general we have a lot of issues to debate and to discuss, including military-technical cooperation. But the most important thing is that Russians know that you are a great friend of our country, and we are always very pleased to be able to welcome you to Moscow. Welcome!
President of Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika: First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to share my pleasure at being in Russia. We have the opportunity to conclude bilateral agreements with Russia but we are also making every effort so that Russia can join the World Trade Organization. With regard to the strategic nature of our relationship, I think that there are some issues which require clarification. We must also hold tenders for several major projects. For example, there is a major project linked to the development of the rail network around Algeria. And we understand that Russian enterprises will win this tender as a result of the agreement we reached here. We have no technical or legal problems in this respect.
Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I just spoke with the president of the Russian Railways company. His company is absolutely determined to continue cooperating and we are confident that its suggestions for the project you mentioned will be the most competitive ones.