President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, colleagues, I want to welcome you to Moscow. This is the first time the President of Bolivia has visited our country, and this is most certainly a historic event in our bilateral relations.
We have been holding consultations of late and have had contacts in many different areas. It was not so long ago that the President and I met during the ALBA [Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas] summit in Caracas last year. We met then and agreed to get together again; we discussed some of the problems and issues concerning our relations, and now this visit is taking place today. We are very pleased to see you here because this visit shows that the Russian Federation and Bolivia are ready to develop full-fledged bilateral relations. We are ready to be more active in developing our relations with the countries of Latin America.
Last year, as President of the Russian Federation I visited a number of Latin American countries, and several Latin American leaders have visited our country over these last few months. Now your visit is taking place, Mr President. This shows that we are serious about developing our relations with the Latin American countries, including Bolivia.
We have a number of interesting projects today. Our bilateral trade is still at an insignificant level for now, unfortunately, but I think that during your visit we will be able to give new impetus to a whole range of areas for cooperation: the energy sector, the mining industry, and agriculture. We could revive a number of earlier projects, and also develop our military-technical cooperation. We will be signing a number of agreements on cooperation in these areas today.
In this respect, I think that we have every opportunity for intensifying our contacts in all different areas, and this goes for our humanitarian ties too.
I think it is very important, as we discussed during our one-on-one talks, to step up our work on educational programmes. Quite a few specialists have received training over the years of Bolivia’s relations with first the Soviet Union and now the Russian Federation. We are ready today to continue helping our Bolivian friends in training specialists in a wide range of fields.
We also consider it very important to coordinate our relations in the foreign policy area, on foreign policy issues. There are a number of clear cases today when our common position is vital for resolving global issues. We are ready to develop these kinds of contacts in all different areas: combating drugs trafficking, coming up with common and reciprocal approaches on climate change — a problem affecting all countries, and other issues on the international agenda today.
Mr President, once again I welcome you and our Bolivian friends to Moscow. I am sure that this visit will open a new chapter in our relations. Welcome!