Beginning of the Meeting with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker 2008-04-24 18:07:52 The Kremlin, Moscow Russian President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Prime Minister, distinguished colleagues. Please allow me to warmly welcome you to Moscow. I know that you have just had a meeting with the newly elected President of Russia, Mr Medvedev. In turn, I would like to express my confidence that the development of relations between Russia and Luxembourg will continue to evolve as successfully as they have in recent years. Luxembourg is, of course, not a very large state, but nevertheless has $30 billion of investments in the Russian economy — not a bad figure. Our trade is developing and we would like to further diversify it. We would like to see Russian companies invest more in Luxembourg and in the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union. I also know that there are very promising plans for joint activities, such as the production of high-tech products. And we could use this to enter the markets of third countries and, of course, European markets. Of course, in the political sphere, we very much expect that Luxembourg 's positive attitude towards Russia will help develop Russia-EU relations. And in general, I want to tell you, Jean-Claude, that I am simply glad to see you. Welcome. Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker: Yes, Mr President, dear friend. I am indeed very happy to be here again in Moscow. Relations between our two countries are excellent and, of course, the quality of these relations is largely thanks to President Putin himself. The fact that our trade and political contacts have improved in recent years bears witness to this. I came here shortly before the month of May in order to thank you. There has been a history of cooperation between Russia and Luxembourg and, more recently, a history of relations between Russia and the EU. I always believed that Russia is part of Europe and I was always certain that we needed a strategic partnership, in which we could agree on essentials, consider general trends, and develop relations so that they could be more productive for the people we represent. We should not hide our disagreements or differences if they arise. We must speak frankly and openly with each other. I shall always remember, in both my head and my heart, the spirit of friendship that unites us. After my long meeting with the newly elected President, I have every confidence in the continuity of our relationship.