President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Your Excellency, Mr President, colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen,
Today is the first time in the history of bilateral relations between Russia and Angola that we are holding talks on Angolan land.
First of all, I would like to thank the Angolan President for this invitation to make a friendly visit to your country. This is a major event for us, and we are very happy to be your guests.
The visit itself demonstrates the traditionally friendly, close relations that exist between our nations. These are time-tested relations. They have held steady through different periods, including a very difficult, dramatic period in Angola's history.
Today, we count on having an open, constructive exchange of ideas regarding all the issues on our agenda. I am certain that during our consultations and talks here in Angola, we will also come up with new approaches to expanding and building our cooperation in the same friendly spirit that has always distinguished our interactions.
Today, our attention will be primarily focused on economic, trade, and investment cooperation, because even with our warm contacts and a very good history of relations, we cannot foresee these relations continuing without full-fledged, full-scale economic cooperation.
Despite the fact that we do have very warm, close relations, which have indeed been tested by time, not everything is going smoothly. We believe that we do not currently exploit the full potential of our economic ties, and so we must do everything we can to develop these ties within the context of our existing experience and the opportunities that exist in our economies.
There is considerable room for developing our cooperation in mining and processing raw minerals and crude hydrocarbons, in electrical energy, and in other areas of energy-related cooperation.
We have also made good progress in building a knowledge-intensive economy, and developing a national satellite communications and broadcasting system in the Republic of Angola. We have already prepared a whole set of agreements and documents that will be signed during this visit.
I fully agree that our cooperation must also rest on a solid legal foundation. Given that we have prepared a whole range of documents, we hope that these documents will help us to turn a new page in our cooperation.
Clearly, legal documents and agreements alone cannot be implemented unless we have a mechanism for their implementation, by which I mean an intergovernmental commission for economic and technological cooperation and trade. Let us hope that this commission will work regularly and systematically, and that the agreements we sign today will be implemented as a result of this commission’s work. We also hope that business agreements and the resulting business contacts will be implemented actively and progressively.
I would like to fully share my assessment of our cooperation in the international arena. Indeed, we have very close or coinciding positions on all key world processes and major regional problems, including problems on the African continent. This is important.
Together, we advocate multi-polarity in international relations, the formation of a stable, democratic world order, strengthening the central role of the United Nations, and changes that must be made to international platforms, including a reform of the United Nations and its Security Council.
Our countries also share many views on business ties. The Russian Federation has vast hydrocarbon reserves, and we are a leading producer of hydrocarbons. Angola is one of the largest oil producers in Africa, and the current chair of OPEC. It is very important for our countries to coordinate actions in the global energy markets, especially amid the global financial crisis and the problems we are all facing.
I am certain that if we proceed in this way, we will succeed. I am also certain that this visit by the President of the Russian Federation to Angola will turn a new page in our relations.
I would like to once again thank the President of Angola for this invitation to visit your wonderful country. We count on our talks being quite productive.