President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues,
I am very pleased to see you.
To begin with, I would like to note that we attach great importance to promoting Russia-Moldova relations. We consider Moldova to be one of our priority CIS partners. Thanks to your personal efforts, the situation has been improving recently, especially in terms of trade and economic relations. Many new winemaking and agricultural companies work specifically in the Russian market.
Last year, imports from Moldova to Russia grew by over 40 percent, and this trend continues unabated with imports climbing another 14 percent in the first half of 2018. In general, our relations in this area are developing steadily. I hope this will continue into the future.
We will have an opportunity to discuss the entire range of our relations.
We are very pleased to have you here. Welcome.
President of Moldova Igor Dodon: Mr President, colleagues,
Moldova and the Russian Federation enjoy traditionally friendly and brotherly strategic relations. This is how it was, it is, and will be, and no one, I am positive, will ever be able to destroy them.
We have good partnership relations in at least six areas. We have common interests when it comes to our spiritual values. We share the same values, and the Moldavian Church is part of the Russian Orthodox Church. I have just met with His Holiness [Patriarch Kirill] and discussed the situation in Moldova.
Our nations share centuries-old history. We have close economic ties.
You mentioned the growth in trade during this and last year. We managed to turn around the 2013–2016 trend, and there has been an increase in trade over the past two years.
With regard to apples, grapes and the like, the Russian market accounts for up to 80–90 percent of Moldova’s total exports. Exports of other items, such as wine, remain minor, as we have not had the chance to regain our former volumes yet.
Russia remains the number one investor in Moldova in its 27 years of independence.
The fourth important area has to do with the fact that more than half a million of our citizens work in Russia, transferring over $1 billion to their families every year.
The fifth is that, of course, Russia is our strategic partner in the Transnistria issue. You are aware that I have met four times with the leader of Transnistria over the past 18 months. These contacts are continuing, and we will meet again before the end of the year. I want to note once again that Russian peacekeepers are the guarantors of peace on the Dniester River. That is what the overwhelming majority of citizens on the left and on the right bank think.
The sixth is, of course, we have good cooperation at the multinational level. I mean the CIS, and I want to thank you once again for the fact that, upon your initiative and with your help, we have obtained observer status in the Eurasian Economic Union. This is our first experience. We have already participated in two of the working group meetings at the presidential level, and we will definitely participate in this format. We find it very interesting.
I want to thank you for your openness. I want to confirm the position of the Moldovan leadership and the majority of Moldovan citizens. We are striving to deepen our strategic partnership with Russia. Yes, we want to be friends with everyone, but we will not be friends with anyone just to oppose someone. You are aware of my position. We will defend this position, and I am sure that things will work out well for us.
Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: It was your initiative to move closer to the EAEU. I think these actions helped increase the exports of Moldovan agricultural products to the Russian market.
As for the wine making supplies and wine from Moldova, the numbers are growing.
Igor Dodon: They are.
Vladimir Putin: Last year, 14 million litres were imported, whereas in the first half of this year 8.5 million meaning that we will see a significant increase by the end of the year. We will continue with this.
I think your visit today will also be beneficial for our relations.
Igor Dodon: Thank you very much.