President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Madam President! Dear Chilean colleagues!
I would like to welcome you once again to Moscow and the Kremlin. Madam President and I have just held talks in a restricted format. We discussed our bilateral relations and the international situation. We naturally talked about the crisis, which is currently preventing us all from developing normally. We talked about the international measures that have been implemented and those taken by our countries. We agreed that we need to overcome this bad period for development as quickly as possible.
If we look at our trade and economic relations, in recent years we have taken very good steps forward. In 2008 the volume of our bilateral trade amounted to more than 360 million dollars. Nevertheless, these are not the largest possible numbers that we could achieve. The development potential of our bilateral relations is very, very high.
We have interesting joint projects — in energy sector, mining industry and agriculture, and I propose that we review these projects during our expanded-format talks. All these issues need to be addressed — addressed specifically.
It is very good that a group of businessmen is here visiting as well, because without direct contacts between our business communities we cannot develop normal, full-fledged trade relations. This is also very, very important.
Undoubtedly, cooperation in educational and cultural spheres, and joint research which we are engaged in are important components of our cooperation. I think that your visit will give an impetus to these contacts.
Once again I would like to welcome you and give you the floor.
President of Chile Michelle Bachelet (as translated from Russian): Thank you Mr President.
I would like to first of all thank you for your words of welcome and the opportunity to meet in the Kremlin. I would also like to thank you for the courteous attention we have received in Russia, starting from the first day of our arrival in St Petersburg. We had a very interesting programme in St Petersburg and we arrived here in Moscow on the night of our second day. And on the third day we have a very broad agenda which reflects our will to move forward in our political, trade, cultural, science, technology and defence relations and, for example, in all areas which may arise as a result of cooperation between our various ministries and departments.
I would say that the seminar for entrepreneurs in St Petersburg had two goals. The first was the development of direct contacts, as you have already mentioned. Second, we talked about the fact that certain circumstances are preventing us from moving forward, and we are going to look for solutions to these problems in order to create conditions which would facilitate greater exchanges between entrepreneurs. We are optimistic and believe that we share many common interests; we have already achieved concrete results in these talks and have established concrete business connections which we expect will continue.
With regards to culture, today we will sign one of the documents governing our cultural relations. This evening a film festival will open and we will also participate in the Week of Latin America in St Petersburg – Chile will be extensively represented there. I think that the relationship between people, between nations should be intensified and, undoubtedly, one of the areas to do so is culture.
I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn first hand about the G20 summit and for the opportunity to share our experiences of how we have addressed the crisis. And, indeed, we are optimistic when we look at history: we know that crises come and go, but we must continue to work on all the projects that unite us. And from this point of view we believe that relations with Russia can be very, very positive.
We talked about how the crisis should not prevent us from moving forward in trade, investment or other fundamental areas. Therefore I would conclude with what I started with: we are very pleased with our trip to Russia, we were warmly welcomed here, and the reception was excellent from all points of view. And this spirit, this political will can only be strengthened, indeed, it has always characterised our relationship. I hope that this visit will enable us to further consolidate our bilateral relations.