Vladimir Putin and Nicolas Maduro discussed important current aspects of bilateral relations, as well as key international and regional topics, including in the context of the difficult situation in Venezuela.
From the Russian side, the meeting was attended by First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues, friends,
I am happy to have the opportunity to meet with you today in Moscow, at the Moscow Kremlin. I am glad to be able to continue our direct personal contacts.
At the beginning of the conversation, I would like to note that our relations are developing steadily. First of all, I would like to say a few words about economic aspects. Bilateral trade has grown 10 percent in recent months. It is satisfying to note that to a large extent, the growth is due to mutual supplies, including agricultural produce.
We believe it is very important, given the difficult situation in Venezuela because of external pressure. So I think this part can be viewed as a kind of humanitarian cooperation, because these products are essential to the people’s well-being and their immediate food needs.
Another important area is medicine, including the supply of Russian pharmaceutical products to Venezuela. In the near future, we plan to supply 1.5 million doses of the influenza vaccine. We could supply up to five million on a permanent basis.
We are also implementing our major projects, primarily those in the energy sector. In all, Russia has invested about $4 billion in the Venezuelan economy.
I would also like to note our military and military-technical cooperation. First of all, this is linked with Russia’s obligations to service the Russian-made equipment purchased by Venezuela in the past. Components are delivered, and service centres are established on time and in strict compliance with our agreements.
Of course, we also cooperate actively on the international arena. You know that Russia consistently supports all legitimate institutions of state authority, including the institution of the President and Parliament. We certainly support dialogue that you, Mr President, and your Government conduct with the opposition forces. We consider any refusal to maintain dialogue as something irrational, detrimental to the country and jeopardising the well-being of the Venezuelan people. We always support legitimate institutions of state authority. We are very happy to see you in Russia.
President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro (retranslated): I am very happy to be here, in Russia, once again. I believe that we can jointly cope with any difficulties.
We support our cooperation in all areas. Members of the Venezuelan-Russian high-level commission met this past May, and many matters discussed at its meeting were successfully resolved. This includes a number of areas, such as food supplies, healthcare, energy and many others.
That is why our meeting today is very important. We can review this year’s achievements and see what problems remain, what realities we are facing, how the situation is developing in a number of areas, and we can chart future plans.
We always feel very comfortable in Moscow, and we are always happy to be here.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.