President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen,
Today’s presentation of letters of credence opens a new chapter in your diplomatic work. I sincerely wish you success and hope that Russia’s bilateral relations with your countries will develop effectively.
These last weeks before New Year are usually a time for summing up. This has obviously not been an easy year, and the global financial crisis has had a big impact on the international agenda. But aside from the crisis there have been positive moments too. Actually, some of these positive moments have come out of our responses to the crisis, as we have started placing more and more emphasis on a unifying agenda and constructive dialogue in international relations. The joint work carried out by the G20 leaders is an example of this kind of cooperation.
Overcoming the crisis will be one of next year’s biggest tasks. We are now in the process of building a new financial architecture and looking together for ways to guarantee the world’s economic stability, and in this respect our coordinated action will play an ever more important part.
Environmental security is another area where our joint efforts are needed. In this context, the UN conference on climate change currently underway in Copenhagen is a very important event. I am sure that whatever the conference’s outcome, the very fact that the heads of state and government of around 120 countries are getting together to agree on what I hope will be new and effective plans for our continued cooperation on this crucial issue is in itself a very significant thing.
The proposed new treaty on European security also reflects our desire for collective solutions. I put forward this proposal last year and recently sent a draft of this agreement to the leaders of major countries and also to the international European organisations, including NATO, the European Union, the CSTO, the CIS, and the OSCE. Our objective is to guarantee equal and indivisible security for all countries in the Euro-Atlantic region, and in effect give legally binding form to the political agreements that already exist within the OSCE, the Russia-NATO Council and other forums.
Russia will continue to act as an initiator in international affairs. We are committed to constructive cooperation with everyone ready to take mutual interests into account, discuss the issues, and work together on the basis of common approaches and the principles of international law.
Now I would like to say a few words about our relations.
Relations between Russia and Ireland are developing in a spirit of solid friendship. We want to intensify our cooperation, above all in the trade, economic and investment sectors.
We welcome our growing ties with the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, one of our most promising partners in South Asia, both in bilateral affairs and on the international stage.
Relations between Russia and China have reached an unprecedented high level of strategic partnership. We are celebrating several important anniversaries this year, including the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, and the successful Year of Russian Language in China. I am sure that the Year of Chinese Language in Russia next year will help to strengthen the contacts between our countries’ young people and give our people the opportunity to open new and interesting pages in the multifaceted life of our Chinese friends. We will continue to build up our bilateral relations and make them more effective.
Today our good friend and ally, Kazakhstan, is celebrating its Independence Day national holiday. I take this opportunity to congratulate you, Mr Ambassador, and through you to send my best wishes to the entire Kazakhstani people on this important day. We remain committed to our priority of strengthening our strategic partnership with Kazakhstan. This year, we established the customs union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. This is a big new step that will without doubt become one of the central pillars for long-term economic growth and the nucleus of modern integration development.
The Russian and Palestinian peoples share longstanding traditions of mutual friendship and respect. I think that in the current difficult context the international community should step up its efforts to stabilise the situation and bring peace to the Middle East. One of the priorities is to resume the negotiating process on a universally recognised basis of international law. Russia will continue to make energetic efforts in this area.
We seek to continue developing friendly ties with the Republic of Burundi. There are a number of promising areas in which practical work together could give a big boost to our bilateral cooperation.
We also want to activate our political and trade and economic ties with Macedonia. There is also considerable potential for developing business and humanitarian contacts in our relations.
We are happy with the way our strategic partnership with Mongolia is developing. I have warm recollections of my recent visit to Ulan Bator. I am sure that our joint policy of fruitful and mutually advantageous cooperation is in our countries’ and peoples’ long-term interests.
We want to strengthen our bilateral cooperation with Ghana, one of our big partners in Africa. There are good opportunities for expanding our economic, humanitarian and education sector ties.
The historically close and friendly ties between Russia and Portugal are developing well. We have joint plans to continue expanding our trade and economic cooperation, encouraging mutual investment, and getting our regions involved in carrying out specific projects.
We also seek to intensify our relations with Jamaica. We think there are good conditions for carrying out joint economic projects and looking for new forms of cooperation in other areas.
Russia has traditionally friendly ties with the Seychelles and we hope to give a new boost to the priority areas in our cooperation.
December marks 20 years since the establishment of official relations between Russia and the European Union. We have come a long way since this time, built a solid foundation for working together, and become true strategic partners. This was confirmed by the recent EU-Russia summit in Stockholm on November 18, which showed that we are able to resolve problems that arise in a spirit of respect for each other’s interests, set new areas for cooperation, come up with new projects, including related to modernisation, which is so important for our country today, and build up our cooperation’s potential for the future.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I want to wish you success once again in your complex and honoured missions, and I wish your countries stability and prosperity.
Allow me to congratulate you all on the approaching New Year.
Thank you for your attention.