The President received the letters of credence of Else Nizigama Ntamagiro (Republic of Burundi), Marat Tazhin (Republic of Kazakhstan), Antoine Somda (Burkina Faso), Ibrahim Suleiman Mohammad al-Darat (State of Libya), Smail Allahua (People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria), Rudiger von Fritsch (Federal Republic of Germany), Saud Ben Abdullah Zaid al-Mahmoud (State of Qatar), Jaime Giron Duarte (Republic of Colombia), Zaheer Aslam Janjua (Islamic Republic of Pakistan), Pablo Anselmo Tettamanti (Argentine Republic), Imomudin Sattorov (Republic of Tajikistan), Kilifoti Eteauati (Independent State of Samoa), Margaret Anne Louise Jobson (Jamaica), Matlotliso Lineo Lydia Khechane-Ntoane (Kingdom of Lesotho).
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Speech at presentation by foreign ambassadors of their letters of credence
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish you a warm welcome and congratulate you on the start of your responsible and honoured diplomatic missions in Russia. It is our shared desire for your work to be fruitful, serve to advance and continue political dialogue, and increase our trade, economic and investment ties and cultural and humanitarian contacts. You can be sure that the Russian authorities, agencies and public will give you all the needed help and support in this work.
Just recently, we marked the 70th anniversary of the opening of the second front in Europe in Normandy. We spoke a lot then about the lessons from that terrible war and about the threats we face today. Sadly, there is no denying that many crises have built up in global affairs today. There is dwindling trust and imbalances persist in the global economy and finances. The development gap between countries continues to grow. It is clear that only by working together can we address and resolve today’s many challenges and risks.
“Russia is consistent in supporting greater openness in global affairs and resolving problems through political and diplomatic means, be it the situation in Syria, the Iranian nuclear programme, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan, the Middle East, or the current tragic developments in Ukraine.”
Russia is consistent in supporting greater openness in global affairs and resolving problems through political and diplomatic means, be it the situation in Syria, the Iranian nuclear programme, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan, the Middle East, or the current tragic developments in Ukraine.
We are particularly concerned about the situation in Ukraine. We want to see a complete stop to the bloodshed throughout the entire conflict zone, especially along our border. The anti-constitutional coup in Kiev and attempts to force the Ukrainian people into an artificial choice between Europe and Russia have pushed society into division and painful internal confrontation.
Ordinary people are suffering the most from this conflict. Blood is being spilt in the southeast of the country and a genuine humanitarian disaster is unfolding, with tens of thousands of refugees forced to seek shelter elsewhere, including in Russia. Journalists carrying out their professional duties have been deliberately persecuted and have lost their lives. Diplomats too have been attacked in violation of all norms and conventions, as was the case of Russia’s embassy in Kiev and consulate in Odessa.
Ukraine must return to the road of peace, dialogue and harmony, but most importantly, it has to ensure a lasting ceasefire as an essential condition for holding substantial negotiations between the Kiev government and representatives of the southeast regions. We will make a genuine effort to facilitate such a peace process.
I want to note that Russia has always been a reliable energy supplier for European countries. At the start of this week, I visited Austria, which in 1968 became the first Western European country to sign a contract for Russian natural gas imports. For nearly 50 years now we have guaranteed stable energy exports to Europe, have honoured all our obligations, and will continue to do so.
Ladies and gentlemen, the heads of 14 diplomatic missions are here today. As is tradition, I will try to say a few words about Russia’s relations with each of your countries’ representatives, economies, people engaged in humanitarian ties, and our bilateral relations in general.
Russia and Burundi enjoy friendly relations. We will continue to expand this mutually advantageous trade and economic cooperation and build up our ties in other areas too, in particular, helping to provide training for specialists from Burundi.
The Republic of Kazakhstan is our key partner and strategic ally. We value greatly the open and trusting nature of our relations with Kazakhstan in all areas of bilateral ties and on the international agenda. We will continue to develop cooperation with Astana in all areas defined by the Agreement between Russia and Kazakhstan on Good-Neighbourliness and Alliance in the 21st Century. It is in our common interest to continue the Eurasian integration process and establish the Eurasian Economic Union, which will start work from January 1, 2015
We want to continue developing our ties with Burkina Faso and enrich them with concrete projects in various areas. That Burkina Faso’s embassy in Moscow is resuming work is certain to help us in these efforts.
We place great importance on developing ties with Libya. We support the Libyan authorities’ efforts to stabilise the situation in the country and achieve national consensus. We want to restore close ties in trade and energy and expand opportunities for military-technical cooperation.
Our cooperation with Algeria is picking up the pace. In particular, we are working together actively in the energy sector, on a bilateral basis and through the gas exporting countries’ forum. We are also ready to build up our work together on anti-terrorist activities.
“Russia has always been a reliable energy supplier for European countries.For nearly 50 years now we have guaranteed stable energy exports, have honoured all our obligations, and will continue to do so.”
We place great value on the accumulated potential in our relations with Germany and on our high level of trade and economic cooperation. Germany is one of the European Union’s leaders and one of our most important partners in efforts to strengthen peace and global and regional stability. We want to continue developing the full range of multi-faceted cooperation and ties. In particular, we see as very important the reciprocal Russian and German Language and Literature Years in 2014 and 2015.
We wish to continue rapid restoration and development of full-scale cooperation with the State of Qatar. The priorities for our cooperation include energy, investment, ensuring security in the Persian Gulf, and seeking peaceful settlements to the conflict in Syria and other hotbeds of tension in the region.
We have longstanding friendship and cooperation with Columbia. We hope that these ties will continue to develop under the new Columbian Government headed by Mr Juan Manuel Santos. There are some good prospects for deepening our ties, especially in energy, machine-building, the mining industry and agriculture.
We place great importance on developing cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This is because Pakistan plays an influential part in the Muslim world in general and also because it is in our common interests to stabilise the situation and create conditions for sustained development in South Asia. Russian companies are ready to carry out promising projects, including in the energy and metals sectors, in sectors that have developed with the help from Russian specialists. Of course, combating terrorism and drug trafficking are also important areas for our cooperation.
Argentina is one of Russia’s key partners in Latin America. I will visit Buenos Aires in July and hope then to have the chance to discuss the full range of current bilateral and international issues and outline mutually advantageous joint projects in the energy sector, including nuclear energy, machine-building, and military-technical cooperation.
Russia has a close strategic partnership with the Republic of Tajikistan. Our political, economic, humanitarian and other ties are growing fast. The recent exchange of ratification documents bringing into force the agreement on the status and conditions for location of the Russian military base on Tajikistan’s soil was clear evidence of just how strong our friendship is. We are ready to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit that will take place in Dushanbe in September this year.
Real opportunities are opening up for cooperation with the Independent State of Samoa, in particular in closer coordination of efforts to ensure the security and sustainable development of countries in the South Pacific.
We want to deepen our cooperation with Jamaica and improve the legal basis for our relations. We hope to implement successful mutually advantageous projects and develop tourism between our countries. Jamaica is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination for Russians.
Our relations with Lesotho have livened up of late. I hope that our ties will become more stable. We have good potential for working together in areas such as healthcare and education, and also in the mining and diamond industries.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to say again how much we value our good relations with the countries you represent, and we will do all we can to continue their development. I hope that you will help in this during your important mission and work here as ambassadors in Moscow.
I wish you success and thank you for your attention.