President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Director General,
I am very pleased to see you. I would like to wish you a warm welcome and thank you for coming to Russia to take part in our event, in the congress that opened today. I see your visit as sign of support for the initiatives in the area of Russian language and literature taking place in our common language space. I think these sorts of contacts are very useful and important. At the same time, I want to say to you that we see cooperation with UNESCO as one of our foreign policy priorities. We see you as a friend of Russia. I am very pleased to make your acquaintance and am ready to discuss any different issues.
Director General of Unesco Koichiro Matsuura: Thank you, Mr President, for your kind and warm words. I am pleased to see you and to be meeting with you only a month after your inauguration as President of the Russian Federation.
I am perhaps the first head of any of the United Nations’ institutions to congratulate you on taking office. I know that [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon was here on a visit, but that was before your official inauguration. It is therefore a great honour for me to greet you today. You are right that cooperation between Russia and UNESCO is developing well. This is very good to see. This is my eighth visit to Russia, but I frequently receive important guests from Russia at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.