Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,
Please allow me to sincerely welcome you – this time, to St Petersburg.
There is probably no need to mention that Kyrgyzstan is an important partner and ally for Russia in Central Asia. Russian-Kyrgyzstani relations are developing. Right now, we are in the process of making a very important decision on Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union. For our part, we will do everything to ensure that the necessary formal procedures are completed as soon as possible. We are confident that Kyrgyzstan will do the same.
I would like to once again thank you for your participation in the events honouring the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. And I would like to note that in addition to developing political relations and integration processes, Russia also remains Kyrgyzstan’s leading trade and economic partner: the share of Russian participation in Kyrgyzstan’s turnover is 27.6%.
But the more negative trends, which we are aware of and which we discuss, are bound to be reflected in our trade and economic ties. Nevertheless, I am confident that all these trends will be overcome, and the plans we have to develop our relations will be implemented, and we will certainly achieve a trend of continuous positive development.
I want to welcome you once again. I am very happy to see you all!
President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev: Thank you, Mr President.
It is always a pleasure for me to meet with you, even during a discussion of the most difficult and unpleasant issues. I can feel how all of this is happening in a friendly, brotherly tone. I am also very grateful for your warm words today. You just said that Kyrgyzstan is Russia’s most important ally in Central Asia, and I would like to tell you that it is the most reliable, as well.
Of course, we hope that the parliaments of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will ratify the agreement on our accession to the Eurasian Economic Union by the end of June; Armenia has already been ratified. And I hope that by July 1, we will become a full-fledged member of this economic union.
Russia is our most important, closest strategic ally, and I think that the trend of the last several years, with relations between Kyrgyzstan and Russia being re-established, activated and reinforced, will only gain momentum. I am absolutely certain of this.
And I would also like to congratulate you on the St Petersburg Economic Forum: it is a very interesting event with interesting discussions. Yesterday was also an interesting day. I liked how openly the most difficult questions were discussed.
Moreover, I saw that one of the sessions was moderated by editor-in-chief of an opposition newspaper. I think this is a good answer to those who say that there is no democracy in Russia, that issues are not discussed in Russia. Yesterday, I observed for myself how the editor-in-chief of the opposition newspaper moderated one of the sections and asked representatives of the Russian political elite very difficult questions.
I congratulate you on the successful holding of the forum.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.