President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, dear Hugo,
I am happy to welcome you to Moscow. It has been a long time since we’ve seen each other; I have missed chatting with you. Although, on a more serious note, we have been in constant contact, writing to one another and speaking on the phone.
Many different changes are taking place in the world today. We are going through an economic crisis, which is rather unpleasant. On the other hand, we also have certain positive changes in our lives. I think that it is time for us to touch base and talk about the development of Russian-Venezuelan cooperation in all areas.
We have prepared what I consider to be an enormous, unprecedented collection of very important documents that have been developed very thoroughly. Thus, I am certain that your visit will be successful, effective, and genuinely friendly.
I recall my visit to Latin America, and Venezuela in particular, with great pleasure. I believe that in the time that has passed since that visit, we have seen a great deal of development in the relations between the Russian Federation and Latin America, and relations with Venezuela, as the most important partner, have become very significant.
You just completed a major diplomatic tour, having visited during a foreign policy mission a number of nations, and you have conveyed greetings to me from the leaders of those nations. I am happy that you had such large-scale, serious talks. I think that we will discuss international problems as well.
Once again, Hugo, I want to welcome you to Moscow, and I count on productive outcome of our meeting.
President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez (as translated into Russian): Thank you very much, Mr President,
Dmitry, you have become my friend and partner. We are happy to again visit Moscow, this is our eighth visit to Russia, and so many things have happened over the past eight years, in nearly a decade. We will never forget your visit to Caracas in November 2008, as well as our conversations and everything we discussed already as allies. As you just said, so much has happened since then.
I recollect Simon Bolivar and the words he uttered in 1824 when he was striving to form a union of Latin American nations. The war of independence from Spain had ended shortly before that, so he decided to immediately call a meeting of national leaders and wrote to all the presidents, from Mexico City to Buenos Aires, inviting them to a congress of the geopolitical elite in Panama. So he wrote a letter to everyone, displaying his vision and stating that the global development is accelerating, which can put us at a disadvantage, if we are not at the forefront of that movement.
I think that we have indeed been at the forefront, since the time when Vladimir Putin became President. I will be seeing him today as well, and for the first time we met in 2001 during my official visit. We made a very good start then as we were able to foresee what would come later. And now we keep progressing, thanks to you, thanks to Russia…
Yesterday, I was very happy to be meeting with students at the [Russia’s Patrice Lumumba] Peoples’ Friendship University. I talked with them until midnight, when we were told that the underground service was closing shortly, so they had to leave, but it was a most emotional meeting. I spoke to many students from Latin America, Africa and other regions, I also spoke to the University Rector, who for some while was Education Minister and who is a friend of yours. We were talking about geopolitics, about going forward and about marching ahead of the chaos. You know, this is a phrase attributed to Che Guevara, “We are ahead of the chaos”.
Russia is once again a superpower. Despite the crisis, Russia stands firmly on its feet again, while Venezuela is a nucleus of what will become a centre of power in Latin America, where we are currently seeing the formation of strength and authority.
I recently read your speech at the BRIC summit. Venezuela is not formally a member of BRIC, but it is present at BRIC events through its connections with Russia, Brazil, China, and India who all are our friends and partners. I noted that in your speech you mentioned a very important thing, and Hu Jintao agreed with you. You said that “A unipolar world is maintained artificially by the U.S., its large consumer market, enormous budget deficit, tax deficit, and the currency, which is now falling”.
I can say that the unipolar world has fallen apart. We spoke about this nearly ten years ago with Vladimir Putin when we took a walk in these very woods one night, and now, here I am with you. Back then, we had been talking about creating a multipolar world, but now, this world has come to be, it already exists.
I have come here with greetings from all of our friends: Muammar al-Gaddafi, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Bashar al-Assad, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Silvio Berlusconi also sends his best regards. Incidentally, he also intends to visit Russia, and he said that he looks forward to meet with you. And of course, our brother Alexander Lukashenko, who I met with yesterday… So, this unipolar world has already come to an end. And now, we are building a new world. Thank you for all of your support and your friendship.
Today, we will sign a large number of significant, strategically important documents.
I will tell you, Dmitry, our relations today are developing in four directions, horizontally and vertically, in breadth and in depth. I am certain that our relations can now be categorised as a strategic partnership. You must know that Russia can be sure that Venezuela is its strategic partner in every respect.
Since we are talking about this, I would like to use this opportunity to state that Venezuela is joining Russia in recognising the independence of the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Beginning today, we are recognising these republics and initiating the necessary steps to establish diplomatic relations, because this is manifestation of the liberation of the world, of the formation of the multipolar world which is now a reality.
We have arrived here in Moscow in early autumn, at a time when Moscow is very beautiful.
Thank you. We are very grateful.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you, Hugo, you have made many serious and important statements. We will certainly discuss all of these matters.
You just expressed the idea of recognising two new states. Russia has always taken a fairly straightforward position on this issue. We have always thought that this must be an independent decision of every nation whether they recognise or not new subjects of international community. But of course, Russia is concerned about the future of these two countries, and I would like to thank you for making this decision.