Vladimir Putin visited Maly Theatre.

Vladimir Putin attended a performance of Alexander Ostrovsky’s play “Last Victim” at the State Academic Maly Theatre.

Vladimir Putin with Maly Theatre's Artistic Director Yuru Solomin (right) and Director General Tamara Mikhailova.
Vladimir Putin with Maly Theatre's Artistic Director Yuru Solomin (right) and Director General Tamara Mikhailova.

The President also spoke to the theatre’s administration about the restoration of the historical stage completed in December 2016 and the current situation at the theatre.

Established in 1824, the State Academic Maly Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in Russia. It has played an important role in the development of Russian culture.

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54100

PHOTO:
Vladimir Putin, Maly Theatre’s Artistic Director Yury Solomin (centre), Director General Tamara Mikhailova and Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky.
Between the acts of the ”Last Victim“ performance. With Maly Theatre’s Artistic Director Yury Solomin (centre), Director General Tamara Mikhailova and Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky.








Putin met with President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena

Vladimir Putin met at the Kremlin with President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, who is on an official visit to Moscow at Mr Putin’s invitation.

Vladimir Putin with President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.
Vladimir Putin with President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.
Vladimir Putin and Maithrepala Sirisena adopted a Joint Declaration following their talks.

* * *

Beginning of meeting with President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. President, friends,

Let me wish you a warm welcome to Russia. I am very happy that you accepted our invitation and have come to Russia as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries.

Mr. President, Russia and Sri Lanka have developed excellent ties over these 60 years. Of course, we need to reflect on what more we can do to develop our trade and economic ties, and, for my part, I urge you to appoint a co-chair of the Intergovernmental Commission from your side.

Of course, it will be useful to discuss the international agenda, including the situation in the region.

It is a pleasure to see you. Welcome, Mr. President.

President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena:

Mr. President,

It is a great pleasure to have this chance to come to Russia at your invitation. Thank you very much for this. Previously, we met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit and at the meeting with BIMSTEC leaders.

Mr. President, you rightly noted that we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year. Over these 60 years, we have indeed developed and strengthened our countries’ friendship. I see today’s meeting as historic, as it is taking place in this anniversary year.

Over these 60 years, the Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation have helped and supported Sri Lanka in its development. In particular, the Russian Federation and the Soviet Union often showed support for our country on the international stage.

I want to mention here our party’s leader and former prime minister, who made a big contribution to developing bilateral relations between our countries.

We value the fact that Russia has always helped Sri Lanka in its development, and value the active cooperation we have in various international organisations. We are very grateful to you for this cooperation.

I have visited your country several times over the last 40 years. Of course, I can say that I love Russia and feel great warmth for the Russian people.

As for you personally, Mr. President, you are a great leader of your country and have great and unquestionable influence on the international stage.

Regarding the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, I think we should continue in this spirit, for the next 100 years at least.

As we continue to develop our bilateral ties, we can help and support each other’s development and work together more closely and actively on the international stage and at the multilateral level.

<…>


PHOTO:
Meeting with President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.
Meeting with President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.

Russian President with President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.
Russian President with President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.

Vladimir Putin and President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.
Vladimir Putin and President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.

Presidents of Russian and Sri Lanka in the Kremlin.
Presidents of Russian and Sri Lanka in the Kremlin.

President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.
President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena.

Putin appointed officers to senior command posts and awarded ranks

Vladimir Putin met with officers appointed to senior command posts and awarded higher military (special) titles and ranks.

Vladimir Putin appointed officers to senior command posts.
During the presentation of officers appointed to senior command posts.

Mr. Putin congratulated the officers on their new appointments and outlined the tasks before the Armed Forces, law enforcement agencies, and intelligence and security services.

The President also thanked military service personnel taking part in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria for their high level of professionalism, courage, and heroism.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Comrade officers,

By tradition, members of the Armed Forces, intelligence services, law enforcement agencies and other security services are taking part in this ceremony today. I want to welcome you all to the Kremlin and congratulate you on your new senior appointments, ranks and titles.

You have performed worthily in your posts and carried out your missions with success. I hope that in your new qualities, you will make a significant contribution to strengthening Russia’s defence capability, ensuring our society’s stability and protecting our citizens’ safety.

Let me note that our Armed Forces have become considerably stronger over recent years and are capable of countering any aggression against Russia and protecting our people, our country, and our allies. Present here today are senior officers taking part in the Russian Armed Forces’ operation against terrorists in Syria. I want to thank you for your high level of professionalism, courage and heroism.

We will continue to develop our country’s defence potential and ensure that all branches of the armed forces have the latest arms and equipment. This concerns the strategic nuclear forces, above all. Their share of new weapons systems should surpass 60 percent by the end of 2020, and in some areas, will surpass 90 percent. High-precision weapons play a growing role in deterring potential aggressors. These systems have proved their worth in full measure during the anti-terrorist operations in Syria.

The army and navy will see their high-precision weapon offensive capability increase four-fold by 2021. The general forces, which play a key role in ground operations, will also see their combat capability bolstered. The ground forces, for example, will receive modern tanks and armoured personnel carriers based on the Armata and Kurganets models, as well as Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled artillery systems. New planes will increase our air force’s combat possibilities 1.5-fold, and the navy will receive modern new ships and submarines armed with high-precision cruise missiles.

Along with continuing the armed forces’ comprehensive rearmament, it is important to continue raising the personnel’s combat training. Last year, the number of exercises and training manoeuvres increased by 13 percent. The practice of snap inspections of units’ combat readiness continues to expand. I am sure that this experience will serve to further develop and enhance the armed forces.

Comrade officers,

Guaranteeing Russia’s security depends directly on the effective work of all law enforcement and security agencies, on your coordination and your well-organised cooperation on resolving common tasks.

The fight against terrorism remains one of the Federal Security Service’s priorities. As I said at the annual FSB board meeting in February, there is reason to be proud, there are clear successes, but you must continue improving your counterterrorist strategy and tactics. I ask you to work more actively, too, on your other key tasks, such as counterintelligence, combating economic crimes and corruption, and protecting key infrastructure sites.

The current situation places particular demands on the Foreign Intelligence Service. This is especially true of operational information on the nature and likely development of events in unstable zones in the Middle East and Africa and in some parts of Asia. Developments in the situation in other key regions of the world are equally important.

Effective protection of their rights and lawful interests – this is what our public expects from the police. It is important to raise the number of crimes solved, respond firmly to any manifestations of extremism, and consolidate the positive trends we see in the work of the traffic police, criminal investigation department, and local police officers.

Work continues to develop the Federal National Guard. The first snap inspection of the National Guard’s combat readiness showed their high level of training. It is important to make this new service highly mobile, give it modern weapons and equipment, and, of course, preserve the best traditions of the units that compose it.

At the recent annual meeting of the Prosecutor General Office’s Board, we discussed in detail the agency’s main tasks, which include responding to all violations of labour and social law and protecting the rights of pensioners, minors and other vulnerable population groups.

The Investigative Committee’s key tasks include forming a solid base of evidence for cases and making use of the latest forensic means. Thoroughness is particularly important in work on so-called latent crimes, including corruption-related crimes.

The Federal Guard Service shows a high level of professionalism, which we see in its work to ensure the safety of senior officials and foreign guests, protect important state facilities, and ensure the uninterrupted work of confidential communications systems. I am sure that you will continue to work just as confidently and reliably.

Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry has great responsibilities. One of the most important is to develop the unified state system for disaster prevention and relief. The Ministry also has work ahead to raise the level of public safety in public places and reduce the risks of manmade accidents and disasters.

The Federal Penitentiary Service has new tasks before it today, including the establishment of a new system of correction centres by 2019, which will enable us to reduce the number of people sentenced for crimes of low and medium seriousness and serving their sentences in the existing prison system.

Comrade officers,

The senior command staff play an exceptionally important role in carrying out the tasks ahead. I am sure that you will make every effort to live up to our expectations. I wish you success, good health, and all the very best to you and your families.

<…>

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54096

PHOTO:
Ceremony presenting officers appointed to senior command posts.
Ceremony presenting officers appointed to senior command posts.

Vladimir Putin during Ceremony presenting officers appointed to senior command posts.
Vladimir Putin during Ceremony presenting officers appointed to senior command posts.


Russian President during the presentation of officers appointed to senior command posts.
Russian President during the presentation of officers appointed to senior command posts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Putin held a Commission for Military Technical Cooperation.

Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Commission for Military Technical Cooperation with Foreign States.

Vladimir Putin at a meeting of the Commission for Military Technical Cooperation with Foreign States.
Vladimir Putin at a meeting of the Commission for Military Technical Cooperation with Foreign States.

The Commission’s results for 2016 and the main areas of military technical cooperation for 2017–2019 were the items on the agenda.

Before the meeting, Mr Putin congratulated Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on his birthday and presented him with a collection of poetry by Russian poet and diplomat Fyodor Tyutchev (1803–1873).

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Colleagues,

This is the Commission for Military Technical Cooperation’s first meeting this year. I propose that we review the 2016 results and discuss the upcoming tasks in this area.

There have been some changes to the Commission’s membership. We will discuss this too, later. I hope that our colleagues will work effectively. I count on this, and I wish you success.

Regarding the 2016 results, Russia confidently held the second place in the world in 2016 in terms of military exports, which came to more than $15 billion. I remind you that we had a result of $14.5 billion in 2015. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimates that Russia accounts for 23 percent of global arms exports. The United States is substantially ahead, with 33 percent, and after us come China, with 6.2 percent, France, with 6 percent, and Germany, with 5.6 percent.

Thanks to their well-coordinated work, Russia’s defence industry companies not only performed with success on the competitive global market, but surpassed their target objectives. This is the case, above all, for companies such as MiG, NPO Mashinostroyeniya, Almaz-Antey, and Russian Helicopters. Their results are good, even excellent. MiG surpassed its target objectives by 118 percent, Rosoboronexport by 101 percent, NPO Mashinostroyeniya by 155 percent, Almaz-Antey (air defence systems) by 185 percent, and Russian Helicopters by 327 percent.

There is stable demand for Russian military exports and we export to 52 countries around the world. Last year, we signed new contracts for a total of $9.5 billion. Our defence industry’s export portfolio thus remains at the $50-billion level.

We plan to increase Russia’s presence on the global arms and military equipment market, enter new markets, expand our product range, and improve our arms’ quality characteristics. Last year, we signed 18 international contracts in the military technical cooperation area.

Russia’s arms are showing just how reliable and effective they are in the fight against terrorism in the Syrian Arab Republic and throughout the Middle East.

The use of aviation and air defence systems in real combat conditions is giving our flight, engineering and technical crews invaluable experience. The same is true for those enhancing our air defence systems and developing military goods. I want to thank them for their active work and for responding rapidly to feedback coming in when the military goods are in use. Our military goods are being put to use with success not just in combat conditions, in battle, but in humanitarian aims too.

For example, our newest mine clearing systems have been used to clear mines in Aleppo and Palmyra, and our equipment has been used to neutralise terrorists’ chemical weapons. Our mobile field hospitals, field kitchens have proven their effectiveness, as have our engineering systems, which help to restore civilian life and restore electricity and water supply to towns.

Let me note that we must continue to constantly analyse the experience we gain through practical use of our defence technology and improve our military training methods. This approach will help to develop ties within the military technical cooperation system and improve the quality of our defence industry’s goods.

Let’s start work.

<…>

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54089

PHOTO:
Meeting of the Commission for Military Technical Cooperation with Foreign States.
Meeting of the Commission for Military Technical Cooperation with Foreign States.

Meeting with President and CEO of BASF Kurt Bock.

Vladimir Putin met with President and CEO of BASF Kurt Bock.

Vladimir Putin with BASF President and CEO Kurt Bock.
Vladimir Putin with BASF President and CEO Kurt Bock.

BASF Chief Financial Officer Hans-Ulrich Engel was also present at the meeting.

Taking part on the Russia side were Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. President, colleagues, let me wish you a warm welcome to Moscow.

We have longstanding good relations with BASF, which has been working in Russia for a long time now in various sectors, chemicals and household chemicals, for example. The company is investing good money in localising production in Russia.

Energy is the other big sector in which BASF is working here. You have ties with different Russian companies, including LUKOIL and Gazprom. You are a visible and significant shareholder in the Nord Stream pipeline, and as far as I understand the situation, you support continuation of this project, the Nord Stream 2 project, which is a purely economic venture.

In this respect, let me repeat that this project is not aimed against any of our partners. What’s more, we are ready to continue relations with all partners, including Ukraine, as transit countries, but we take the position that there will be reliable and economically advantageous market conditions for this cooperation.

With Europe’s gas consumption on the increase, and the drop in production in European countries, Nord Stream 2 is very much a natural project.

We are pleased to see that our reliable partners in Europe in general, and in Germany, continue to work actively in Russia. Unfortunately, recent economic events have had a negative impact on our reciprocal trade. The Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations estimates that Germany has lost at least 150,000 jobs as a result of these unfavourable events.

But we do not lose hope that we will be able to restore full-format cooperation. Of course, we will continue to work hard on this with our economic partners, and with our partners at the political level. On May 2, as you know, we are expecting Federal Chancellor Ms. Merkel’s visit.

President and CEO of BASF Kurt Bock (retranslated):

Mr. President, thank you very much for giving me and my colleague on the board, Hans-Ulrich Engel, the chance to be here today and say a few words.

BASF has been working actively on the Russian market for more than 140 years now, including with our friends and partners from Gazprom.

We are active in two sectors here, chemicals and energy. These last two years have not been easy for us, but we have noted a growth trend starting this year. The basic conditions for continued growth are better now than they were a while ago. We will make the effort needed to make use of these opportunities. We recently discussed these matters with the Industry Minister. We will continue, of course, to our efforts to localise production here.

Our cooperation in the energy sector, specifically in the gas sector, is developing very, very well. This sector is of great importance for us. Of course, the main project in this area at the moment is Nord Stream 2. We completed the Nord Stream 1 project with success together. I think we will have the same success with Nord Stream 2, given that we now have successful experience of working together.

<…>

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54088

PHOTO:
Meeting with President and CEO of BASF Kurt Bock.
Meeting with President and CEO of BASF Kurt Bock.
Vladimir Putin, Yury Ushakov.
Russian President at a meeting with BASF CEO Kurt Bock. Left: Presidential Aide Yuru Ushakov.
BASF President and CEO Kurt Bock (left) and BASF Chief Financial Officer Hans-Ulrich Engel.
BASF President and CEO Kurt Bock (left) and BASF Chief Financial Officer Hans-Ulrich Engel.
Kurt Bock, Hans-Ulrich Engel in the Kremlin.
BASF President and CEO Kurt Bock (right) and BASF Chief Financial Officer Hans-Ulrich Engel.
Meeting with President and CEO of BASF Kurt Bock in the Kremlin.
Meeting with President and CEO of BASF Kurt Bock in the Kremlin.