President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, colleagues,
Once again, I want to welcome President Colom to the Kremlin. We have just held talks in narrow format, discussing international affairs, the development of relations between Russia and Guatemala, the situation in the world and in South America, and some of the finer nuances of our interaction. Of course, we also discussed cultural matters and development of humanitarian cooperation.
Over the 65 years since our countries established diplomatic relations we have taken steps towards each other, but to be frank, these have been only rather small steps. Only over this last decade have we really begun to intensify our relations.
We were recalling just before the event in 2007, when Russia, in Guatemala [at the IOC 119th session], won the right to host the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014. Certainly, this event will long remain in our memories, and not just as part of the Olympic movement’s history, but as a symbol of the relations between our countries, the friendly ties between our peoples. But our contacts do not end here of course.
We also talked about paying some attention to developing our trade and economic ties which have been growing over these last years, but still fall far short of their real potential.
We need to reflect on big projects that we could launch together, and on diversifying our trade with new fields of cooperation. Tourism is an important sphere for developing our relations, and so are education and other areas of cooperation that we can discuss now at these expanded format talks.
President of Guatemala Alvaro Colom (as translated into Russian): Mr President,
Thank you for organising this historic visit. Development of relations with Russia is entering a new stage now, and this applies not only to Guatemala but to all of Central America. We support [Russia’s] stronger ties with Latin America and I am wholeheartedly in favour of this kind of intensification.
Mr Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, is actively involved in this process. We share the closest of relations with Brazil and welcome as very positive indeed all progress along this road.
We see our trip here not just as a visit, but as marking the start of important ties with our region, with our Central American brothers. We discussed issues today on which we share similar views.
I thank you for your warm and hospitable welcome. I imagined Russia to myself, thought about it a lot, but what I have seen has surpassed all my expectations. I am filled with emotion at being in this wonderful country and this beautiful city.
Thank you very much, Mr President.