President of the National Congress of Peru Javier Velasquez Quesquen (Retranslated from Russian): Mr President,
Official relations between our countries were established in 1969. Back in 1864, a Peruvian representative went to Russia, and in 1924 Dr de la Torre, then head of the country’s leading party, attended a Communist Party congress in Russia.
We believe that the seven agreements we have signed today will strengthen bilateral relations and open new vistas for economic, social and political cooperation.
Your visit is very important to us, because Russia is regaining strength on the international scene. The process began in the 1990s and continued in 2001, when Vladimir Putin was elected President. We know that you won broad support of the people during the March elections. We know that you support stronger constitutional order, which clearly shows that Russia has regained its role of a major world power.
I would like to point out two things. In 1970, trade between Russia and Peru was very extensive, almost $1 billion, but is down to only $100-$120 million now.
We pin our hopes on Russian businesses, which, we hope, will come to Peru and will invest in energy and fishing. All members of the Peruvian Parliament want to assure Russian investors that Peru is a safe country, which has legislation to protect and guarantee investments.
The second thing I want to point out is the agreement on student exchanges and recognition of university degrees. Many people in our Parliament were educated in Russia, and the knowledge they received there has helped them to contribute to our country’s development. Therefore, an important task for the Government is to develop this sphere of cooperation in addition to economic ties, because our young people will find many things to learn in Russia. So, we pin our hopes on that agreement.
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President of the National Congress, colleagues,
It is a great pleasure for me to visit your Parliament, clearly one of the key instruments of governing the country. My visit here is designed to highlight the importance of your mission as deputies.
This is the first visit by a Russian President to Peru in the nearly 40 years of bilateral relations, and I am happy that it is ending well. We have signed many documents, some of which you, Mr President, have mentioned here.
Most importantly, we have expressed a common commitment to working hard to develop relations in all spheres, including in the economy, culture and science. The elements you have mentioned are very important for developing our relations.
You have mentioned low bilateral trade. I have to admit this is true, although it is approximately $100 million bigger than you said, but this does not change anything. We should still take bilateral cooperation to a fundamentally new level; there is every opportunity for this.
Much depends on you as the head of the country’s legislature. We should ratify, or draft and adopt, several important agreements, including on mutual recognition of diplomas, mutual encouragement and protection of investment, and avoidance of dual taxation. In a word, these agreements form the basis of good relations between our countries.
There are stable relations between our Parliaments, which we view as a highly positive achievement. There are also ties between the parties represented in the Parliaments. In short, we think relations between the Russian and the Peruvian Parliaments are extremely important.
I am grateful for your invitation to visit the National Congress of Peru.