President of Argentina Mauricio Macri (retranslated): Good evening.
Thank you all for your support during this long day. This is very important because I have the honour to welcome President Putin to Argentina. This is our third meeting in the last three years, and this is an indicator of Russia and Argentina’s shared interest in our growing ties.
Argentina and Russia share a strong commitment to the principles of multilateralism in the fight against organised crime and drug trafficking, and we have also been doing fruitful work against terrorism. We are partners of the G20, which Argentina chaired this year, and Russia in 2013.
President Putin and I talked about the G20 summit that we have just completed, which exceeded the expectations of many, as the final declaration was signed, which confirmed our points of contact on trade-based development issues, high attention to climate change, gender equality issues and other very sensitive topics.
We have just had a very fruitful working meeting and considered issues on the bilateral agenda; we took the necessary steps to further expand and diversify our relations.
I have once again repeated to President Putin how we value Argentina-Russia relations – this is reflected in the rich agenda, which includes cooperation in science and technology, interaction in the nuclear and space industries, food security, security and defence.
Today we have signed a series of agreements that will allow us to expand the scope of our bilateral cooperation in such key areas as healthcare, fisheries and nuclear energy.
We are enthusiastic about the joint initiatives of Russian and Argentinean companies in energy and railway transport. These are positive steps that will allow us to continue working in other areas.
Argentina is a reliable and competitive food supplier for Russian consumers. During these days, you had a chance to taste our products, and it seemed to me that you liked them. It makes me happy.
Last year, we decided to open an agri-industrial representative office in Moscow. Argentina has only five such missions, and we decided that one of them should be in Russia. We are placing a big bet on our ever-increasing cooperation.
Our mutual trade has increased significantly this year. We are interested in its further expansion and diversification so as to use the full potential of our complementary regional economies.
We are working to bring our regions closer together and share our interest in reaching an agreement between MERCOSUR and the Eurasian Economic Union. Argentina will preside over MERCOSUR in the first half of 2019, and we are committed to promoting this agreement.
President Putin, I want to thank you once again for your visit and your commitment to strengthening cooperation between Argentina and Russia. I am convinced that our joint work – I am very sure of this! – will help us move forward and ensure a better future for our peoples.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to congratulate you, Mr President, on the successful holding of this high-profile international event – the G20 Summit.
You have managed to create a very amicable, I would say, friendly atmosphere during all this multilateral work, which has led to tangible positive results. Thank you very much.
We had a chance to appreciate the goodwill and patience of the residents of the Argentinian capital over these days, despite the inconvenience of hosting such a large international forum.
I will note that the final declaration adopted at the summit reflects the priorities of Argentina’s G20 Presidency in the outgoing year.
It is important that the G20 express their general dedication to further coordinated work, in order to ensure sustainable global economic growth, increase the stability of international finance, and develop a multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organisation remaining as its core.
At our talks with Mr Macri, we reviewed key aspects of our bilateral cooperation, as well as current international topics. We had a very informative one-on-one conversation, in a restricted format, and then in an expanded format.
We have just signed, as you have seen, a thick package of bilateral intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements, as well as commercial contracts. All this evidences our mutual dedication to strengthening Russia-Argentina relations in all areas.
Naturally, much attention was paid to the expansion of our economic ties. In 2017, our trade grew to $890 million, and in the first nine months of this year, it climbed another 26 percent. At the end of this year, we will reach $1billion.
We talked in detail with Mr President about the importance of deepening industrial cooperation and the implementation of large bilateral projects. In this context, we discussed building a nuclear power plant in Argentina using Russian technology.
I am sure that the strategic document on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, signed by Rosatom and its Argentinean colleagues, will create the necessary conditions for the existing large joint plans in this crucial area.
We have accumulated positive experience in industrial cooperation. Note that over 20 percent of the electricity generated in Argentina is produced by Russian-made equipment. Our companies service six Argentinean power plants and plan to participate in a tender for the supply of power units for six more hydroelectric power plants.
Cooperation in railway transport is also growing stronger. Russia participated in the creation of a rolling stock production centre in Mechita, which opened in May. Our largest railway company, Russian Railways, is ready to assist in the implementation of an important initiative for the Argentine economy – the construction of a 700-km railway to the Vaca Muerta field.
I would like to specially mention transport infrastructure projects. Our major bank, Gazprombank, is planning to invest in the construction of a large port and logistics hub on the Parana River. The hub will significantly reduce the cost of shipping Argentina’s agricultural products to Russia and exporting Russian petroleum products to Argentina and other countries in South America.
We can see significant potential for increasing cooperation in the supply of fertilisers, the production of pharmaceuticals, green energy, space exploration and in many other areas.
The largest diaspora of Russian compatriots in Latin America lives in Argentina. We appreciate this and want to thank Mr President and all our Argentine friends for maintaining relations in this area. I have already mentioned this: it was when Mr President was the mayor of the capital, the Mother-Russia festival of Slavic culture was launched there. This tradition dates back to 2009, when the President was the mayor of the capital, and has continued to this day. We are very grateful for this.
It is important that, thanks to its Spanish-language version, Russia Today TV channel will continue to work in Argentina until 2022. I think this also underscores the special nature of relations between our countries and gives Argentinean viewers an opportunity to see what is happening in Russia in reality as well as our vision of what is happening in the world.
We agreed to expand coordination with the Argentinean side in the fight against transnational organised crime, including in cyberspace, illicit drug production and trafficking, and other modern threats and challenges.
We actively and fruitfully cooperate in the international arena due to the commonality or at least proximity of our positions in this area.
I would like to thank Mr President for the opportunity to meet separately today, to hold these useful bilateral contacts. I am confident that we will continue to move along the path of expanding our interaction.