President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Mr Minister!
I am pleased to welcome you to the Kremlin. Your visit constitutes yet more proof that relations between Russia and Cuba are developing very dynamically. We have overcome the hiatus of the past decade. Our contacts are very rich and our relations are very friendly. Next year we are expecting Chairman of the State Council and Council of Ministers of Cuba Raul Castro in Russia, and hope that his visit will make yet another contribution to the development of our relations. At the same time I wish to convey my greetings to Mr Fidel Castro, the recognised leader of the Cuban people, and my best wishes for his health.
And I would also like to say at the beginning of our conversation that of course Cuba has been and remains one of our key partners in Latin America. Our contacts are growing and the events I just described bear witness to this. In the near future other contacts will also take place. So in that sense we have a very busy schedule and we are very happy with it.
Of course we need to pay attention to the development of our trade and economic ties, because this element of our relations is still not as developed as we would like. On the other hand, cultural cooperation is developing very well: not long ago, in October, the days of Russia took place in Havana and a cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church was consecrated in Havana – we are very grateful to the Cuban leadership for this.
Finally, we engage in fairly active cooperation in the international arena, something that your visit is connected with. We hold ongoing consultations, our contacts are systematic and our positions on most issues coincide.
I am glad to see you again, Mr Minister. Please go ahead if you have something you would like to say.
Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque: Thank you very much. We would like to thank you for the opportunity to meet. This is a great honour for us.
We have brought and would like to convey warm greetings from Fidel and Raul Castro. In addition, President Raul Castro asked me to give you a letter.
We would also like to thank you for your support, for the assistance that the Russian government and nation provided after the hurricane.
We fully agree that relations between our countries are developing. Our political relations very decent. Coordination between our foreign ministries is very good. We have opportunities to develop our economic relations.
President Raul Castro invites you to visit Cuba. And we hope that we will meet you in our homeland as the President of Russia, as the President of a brotherly people, a people for which the Cuban people, Cubans, harbour special feelings of affection and love.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you.