Opening Remarks at the Russian-Venezuelan Talks in an Enlarged Format 2006-07-27 17:44:28 The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr President! Dear colleagues, dear friends! Allow me to welcome you warmly to the Moscow Kremlin. Your visit, dear Mr President, to the Russian Federation acts as a good opportunity to analyze the way we are implementing the bilateral agreements on developing our relations. During our private conversation Mr President and I noted that relations between the Russian Federation and Venezuela are developing in a positive way. Our volume of trade is growing. We are finding more and more new spheres for cooperation, including trade and technological cooperation. Venezuela is one of the largest suppliers of energy resources on world markets. I am confident that my colleague and all of yourselves, dear ladies and gentlemen, will be interested to know about the results of our work during the G8 in St Petersburg, where world energy security represented one of the main themes. We consider that rapidly developing Venezuela, other countries in Latin America, and OPEC countries will react with understanding to the results achieved in St Petersburg in this sphere and to the implementation of these results. We are satisfied with the positive dynamic of our political contacts. Our members of parliament, foreign affairs departments, and representatives of our judicial systems are in constant contact with one another. Our practice of coordinating our positions within the United Nations has proved fruitful. And we welcome Venezuela’s aspirations to become a non-permanent member of the Security Council. I am confident that your visit, dear Mr President, will act as a good, new powerful incentive towards the development of our mutual relations. Hugo Chavez (translated from Spanish through Russian): Thank you Mr President . Dear comrades! Dear friend, Mr President! As we said this morning and at noon, and as we declared to the media yesterday in Volgograd and yesterday evening here in Moscow, we are happy to be back here. I would like to once again state our sympathy, our friendship and our obligations. And we are happy about the fact that Venezuela and Russia are going down the same path, the path of development and economic growth. Under your firm, legitimate authority. We are watching the development of Russia, the Russian people and the national project that you embody but that you also supervise with happiness and excitement. And for our part we are also happy that today we can show off Venezuela’s significant achievements. You know, you all know, the roads we had to cross. And the so-called hurricanes that plagued us. We have left this all in the past. And we thank you for your constant and strong support – both your personal support and that of Russia. Today Venezuela is in a stable political situation and is seeing increasing economic and social development. And as you know – but I would still like to emphasise the significance of this event – we just became a full member of Mercosur. As the President of Brazil Lula da Silva said not long ago in Cordoba, Venezuela became the fifth star in Mercosur. We are moving towards establishing unity in Latin America.