The President received letters of credence from Park Ro-byug (Republic of Korea), Mike Nicholas Sango (Republic of Zimbabwe), Abdel Hafiz Nofal (State of Palestine), Znaur Gassiyev (Republic of South Ossetia), Maheshwarsingh Khemloliva (Republic of Mauritius), Miguel Umberto Lecaro Barsenas (Republic of Panama), Nadir Yusif Eltayeb Babiker (Republic of Sudan), Adrian McDaid (Ireland), Saman Kumara Ranjit Weerasinghe (Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka), Ahmed Abdulrahman Mahmoud Ismail al-Saati (Kingdom of Bahrain), John Peter Ericson (Kingdom of Sweden), Arti Hilpus (Republic of Estonia), Ms Hayati Binti Ismail (Malaysia), Zvi Heifetz (State of Israel), and Valentin Nkuman Tavun Matungul (Democratic Republic of the Congo).
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Speech at presentation by foreign ambassadors of their letters of credence
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, I want to welcome you in the Moscow Kremlin and congratulate you on the start of your important and honourable diplomatic mission in Russia.
Responsible diplomatic efforts aimed at reaching mutual understanding and promoting cooperation are in high demand in the current complicated international situation, when we are facing challenges and threats unprecedented in scale and nature. These are terrorism-related threats with its barbaric, cold-blooded crimes.
More than 100,000 terrorist acts have been committed in the world over the past decade, their victims being people of various nationalities and religions. More than 32,000 people from 67 countries fell victim to extremist terrorist groups in 2014 alone. Russia’s position regarding terrorism has always been consistent, clear and firm: this evil should be fought uncompromisingly and persistently. We believe that any attempts to whitewash terrorism, to connive with terrorists should be considered as complicity in terrorism, complicity in crimes.
I would like to remind you that it was the passive position of a number of countries, and often their direct collusion with terrorists that actually led to the rise of the terrible phenomenon known as the Islamic State. They not only cover up the terrorists, their illicit trafficking in oil, people, drugs, works of art and arms, but also benefit from it, making hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars.
I would like to hope that the terrorist act against the Russian airplane in Egypt, the tragic events in France and the atrocious mass killings in Lebanon, Nigeria and Mali would lead to an understanding of the need for the entire international community to join efforts in the fight against terrorism.
I expect a truly broad international anti-terrorist coalition to be formed that would act in a coordinated fashion, as a powerful force and would, in particular, support the actions of the Russian troops that are carrying out successful military operations against terrorist groups in Syria.
We will continue our efforts to reach agreement with all our partners, including those within the framework of the Vienna agreements. We proceed from the fact that all countries in the world are interested in such coordinated joint work.
In this connection, I have to say that we find absolutely inexplicable the treacherous stabs in our back dealt by those we thought to be our partners and allies in the antiterrorist struggle. I am referring to the incident with the Russian bomber hit by Turkish air defence forces. What happened two days ago in the skies over Syria is against common sense and international law: the plane was shot down over Syrian territory.
Meanwhile, we have still not heard any comprehensible apologies from the Turkish political leaders or any offers to compensate for the damage caused or promises to punish the criminals for their crime. One gets the impression that the Turkish leaders are deliberately leading Russian-Turkish relations into a gridlock – and we are sorry to see this.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Fifteen ambassadors are attending today’s ceremony. I would like to give a traditional account of our relations with each of the states you represent.
This year we are marking 25 years of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea – Russia’s important and ambitious partner in the Asia-Pacific Region. We look forward to the joint implementation of major trade and investment projects. We will further promote peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.
We are interested in enhancing mutually advantageous political, economic and military-technical cooperation with the Republic of Zimbabwe. We are ready to develop industrial cooperation and to invest capital and technologies in your country’s extractive industry, Your Excellency.
Russia and Palestine are tied by friendly relations. We support the Palestinians in their desire to establish a just and stable peace in the Middle East. The launch of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, scheduled for the beginning of next year, will contribute to the development of our business cooperation.
In March, Russia and South Ossetia signed an agreement on alliance and integration. Its purpose is to gradually enhance the cooperation in the economic, social and humanitarian spheres, as well as in defence matters. We will continue rendering comprehensive assistance to the people of South Ossetia and to ensure your republic’s security.
We highly value our friendly relations with the Republic of Mauritius. We see a good potential for developing these relations, specifically in the sphere of tourism, fishery and marine and air transport.
We favour more active contacts with the Republic of Panama. We are working together to improve our contractual legal base, and we are open to closer contact on economic and financial matters. We will further assist the people of Panama in training their own professionals, specifically in the sphere of law enforcement.
Relations between Russia and the Sudan are developing in a constructive vein. We intend to further assist in joint efforts to normalise the situation in Darfur – based on respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Sudan.
There are good opportunities for the expansion of trade and economic cooperation with Ireland. We are interested in implementing mutually advantageous projects in investment and new technologies and in developing interregional contacts.
We have recently managed to enhance the contractual legal base of our relations with the Republic of Sri Lanka. This creates preconditions for the development of the entire complex of bilateral relations and cooperation. We are expanding our traditional ties in fisheries and agriculture.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is Russia’s reliable partner in the Persian Gulf area. We are looking forward to an efficient implementation of the agreements reached during last year’s visit to this country by King Hamad [King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa]. We will work to enhance cooperation in energy, investment and the military-technical sphere, and to develop cultural programmes and tourist exchange.
Our relations with our northern neighbour Sweden are of great significance for us. On the agenda today are efforts to eliminate the setbacks in trade and economic cooperation and to resume useful political and other contacts. The business circles of our two countries are interested in this, of course.
We are set on maintaining a mutually respectful dialogue with Estonia in the spirit of good neighbourliness. Greater trust could assist in the coming into effect of border agreements. You are well aware of our position regarding the rights and legal interests of our compatriots residing in Estonia and we proceed from the premise that they would be complied with in full, of course.
We will continue promoting political, trade and investment cooperation with Malaysia. We are ready to work together to ensure stability and security in the Asia-Pacific Region. We expect Prime Minister Najib Razak to take part in the anniversary Russia-ASEAN summit that is to take place next May in Sochi.
We are satisfied with our constructive partnership with Israel. Relations between our states have reached a high level. In September, we had intense and very productive talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We agreed to enhance our cooperation in industry, high technologies, and agriculture. We will continue our contacts with the Israeli leadership to establish a just, universal and lasting peace in the Middle East and to exchange information in our anti-terrorist efforts.
We are in favour of developing ties with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Together with the international community we will continue assisting the people and leadership of the Congo in their efforts to reach internal peace and national accord and to strengthen their statehood.
Ladies and gentlemen,
You have an intense, charged and I hope interesting mission in Moscow ahead of you. You may rest assured that the Russian leadership, our agencies and local authorities will provide every help and support you may need.
I wish you success.
Thank you for your attention.