Zinaida Greceanii: Dear Mr Putin, dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,
I want to greet the Russian delegation in Moldova and thank Mr Putin for his kind acceptance of our invitation. I am sure that his visit will honourably contribute to the cause of the all-round extension of Russian-Moldovan partnership and open a new page in consolidating our mutual confidence.
We have discussed the most topical aspects of bilateral and multilateral relations in our outspoken and constructive talks. I am glad to say that we have come to complete understanding on all questions on the agenda to prove once again that Russian-Moldovan confidence has grown to become the decisive factor of the development of our partnership.
The talks naturally started with the development of our trade and economic relations and the ways of their further expansion. I want to stress that we have a major unused potential in that field despite the steady development of bilateral trade. We see such a potential in interregional cooperation, direct corporate contacts, the range of commodities, and the removal of artificial customs and fiscal barriers, to name but few.
I am sure that the long-term economic cooperation programme for 2009-2020, which we have signed today, will help to solve those problems, and charter new effective ways and introduce new methods of developing our partnership.
As we have agreed, concerted efforts are necessary to improve the structure of our bilateral trade and diversify it. This is also true of investment, agriculture, energy, transport, communications, tourism and many other fields. We have also agreed to promote financial and banking teamwork to withstand the global financial crisis and fight its impact on our national economies.
We have also discussed cultural contacts and human ties. I am sure that the visit of the Russian governmental delegation to Moldova is another manifestation of our shared desire to strengthen centuries-old friendship between our nations and develop all-round mutually beneficial partnership.
We have spotlighted the effective work of our Intergovernmental Commission and the solution of all problems that might arise in our partnership.
Thank you for your visit, Mr Putin! We are grateful to you and your colleagues.
Vladimir Putin: Dear Ms Greceanii, dear ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to start with thanking Ms Greceanii and all our Moldovan colleagues for our hearty reception and smoothly organised work. It was also very well organised along the lines of the Council of the CIS Heads of Government.
Moldova is an interested participant of collective Commonwealth efforts, which is essential for promoting integration.
Moldova will chair the Commonwealth in 2009. This is a trying time for the world economy and finances. The CIS countries should protect their interests and pool their efforts to overcome the global economic and financial crisis. The Russian leadership is willing to offer the greatest possible assistance to its Moldovan partners in solving those problems.
Today's talks proceeded in an atmosphere of understanding and sincere desire to further develop trade, economic and cultural contacts. We had a profound discussion on topical aspects of our bilateral cooperation and on regional and certain international problems of shared interest. I am glad to see positive trends in Russian-Moldovan relations, which open good prospects for the formation of long-term strategies of our partnership.
We confirm the noteworthy progress of our contacts. Bilateral trade reached $1.3-1.4 billion in 2007, and hit the billion dollar mark in the last eight months of this year. As my colleagues and I have said, we have every reason to expect a $2 billion turnover for the whole year despite global economic problems. Much more remains to be done, however. Our economic contacts should be modernised and become more diversified. There are relevant initiatives concerning trade, investment and promotion of interregional contacts, and we would provide their implementation. The Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation is spectacularly contributing to the elaboration and implementation of those plans. One of its principal achievements is the elaboration of the Russian-Moldovan economic cooperation programme up to 2020. Its signing today gives a start to more effective teamwork to improve the instruments of our business partnership. As you know, Russia has recently adopted a programme of its economic development up to 2020, and I think coordination with our partners in the basic fields is highly valuable.
I would also like to stress our progress in the cultural sphere. We have made a conclusion again on the necessity of permanent attention to beneficial conditions for the survival and development of ethnic minorities' languages and culture. We should generally pay greater attention to cultural links. It is pleasant to see Moldova's rising interest in multilateral cultural contacts within the CIS and in CIS projects. In particular, it is considering prospects for taking part in the CIS Council and Interstate Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation.
More than that, our Moldovan partners have proposed Chisinau as the venue for the 4th forum of the CIS scientific and cultural intelligentsia. We greet this initiative and shall offer it every support.
I shall meet with the Moldovan President tonight, and so have an opportunity for a more detailed talk on the problems of Transdniester settlement. We have mentioned it in passing today-in its trade and economic aspect.
Vladimir Putin: Good evening, dear Mr Voronin.
I would like to start by complimenting the host party on its unprecedented tactics. You first took us to the Cricova wine cellars and only later to the Government House-the best way to get your ends.
Vladimir Voronin: That's our old trick.
Vladimir Putin: Joking aside, I must say that our experts have well prepared to the meeting. Generally, we and our Moldovan colleagues have quickly and efficiently come at mutually acceptable decisions of late in the key points of our partnership-energy, trade and agriculture. Certain issues still demand more detailed analyses, but they all can be settled.
Progress has been made on the energy issue you have posed many times-on hydrocarbon material, our joint venture and electricity. Progress has been reported to us just now.
As for agriculture, Moldovan wine exports to Russia are on. A mere 25 out of 34 authorised exporter companies are presently supplying wine to Russia, so you have ample elbowroom and we expect more wine coming.
Vladimir Voronin: Thank you, Mr Putin.
It is a great honour to receive you and host a summit of the CIS heads of government. It is good training as Moldova will preside the CIS next year on an unprecedented arrangement-in all its agencies. So today's summit and its preparation, and the essential documents we approved today are all of tremendous importance for us to lead the CIS no worse than the previous chair country or even better.
I fully agree with you that our relations are making good progress, and have a considerable potential, as always. For instance, we have a large amount of animal products to offer for export. We can also offer vegetable products and other commodities to the Russian market, so our trade is dynamically developing.
I, too, approve the work of our Intergovernmental Commission headed by Andrei Fursenko and our First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Dodon. They are working very constructively. What I like about their work most is that they don't ask us for help-they have learned to make decisions and do not give us more headaches.
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