Saturday, July 01, 2017

Fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.

Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko attended the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions. Its main theme this year is interregional cooperation in high technology, innovation and information society.


Attending the plenary session were Speaker of the Federal Assembly Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich, St Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko, and Chairman of the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee Nikolai Sherstnyov.

The forum, which is being held on June 29–30, has been sponsored by the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of Russia and the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus. The forum is held to promote direct ties between Russia and Belarus, including ties between their legislative and executive authorities and business communities, and to draft recommendations for improving the legal framework for boosting the two countries’ economic development. The first Forum was held in Minsk in 2014, the second – in Sochi in 2015 and the third Forum – in Minsk in 2016.

Later today, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko will chair a meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.

Speaker of the Federal Assembly Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.
Speaker of the Federal Assembly Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.

* * *

Speeches at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.

Vladimir Putin.
Speech at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. Lukashenko, Ms. Matviyenko, friends, colleagues,

I am happy to welcome you to the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions. Our countries are strategic partners in the true sense of this word, and they are very close allies. Working on the solid foundation of friendship and good neighborliness, we are promoting our ties in all spheres, including the crucial sphere of interregional relations. Our example has a positive influence on our work with our colleagues within the CIS, the Eurasian Economic Union and the CSTO.

The overwhelming majority of Russian regions are working closely with their friends in Belarus, particularly on the basis of bilateral cooperation agreements, and are implementing projects both on the region-to-region level, and as part of cooperation between chambers of commerce and industry, research centers and individual enterprises, which the governors just told us about in their reports. I believe that working together we have managed to build an effective structure of cooperation, which creates a reliable basis for increasing business activity and the flow of capital into our respective economies.

In 2016, Russian investment in Belarus reached $4 billion, with direct investment, accounting for the bulk of this amount at $3.5 billion. Russian businesses are investing in Belarusian transport and the manufacturing industry. In turn, Belarus has invested over $600 million in Russian agriculture, retail trade, and the pharmaceutical industry.

Notably, Moscow, Pskov, Smolensk, Sverdlovsk and Tyumen regions, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, as well as Moscow and St Petersburg have established particularly strong cooperation ties with their Belarusian partners.

Vladimir at the Fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.
Vladimir at the Fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.
The interaction between Belarus and the Russian Far East is gaining momentum. The joint creation of a modern agricultural town in Sakhalin Region is a case in point. We expect the number of such mutually beneficial projects to grow, specifically with the use of the opportunities that open up for businesses in new Russian regions.

Colleagues, this forum focuses on expanding cooperation between the regions of Russia and Belarus in the spheres of high technology, innovations and information society. We have just discussed this here.

Today, a new economic pattern is taking shape right before our eyes. It is based on active introduction of digital technologies, innovative materials, robotisation, and green energy. The long-term competitiveness of our countries and their positions in the global division of labor will depend on how we meet these technological challenges. I will go as far as to say that our future depends on our ability to achieve this goal.

Therefore, it is imperative to step up our efforts to create joint high-tech industrial clusters and engineering centers, to build flexible cooperative chains to manufacture research-intensive products that meet the highest international standards.

In a word, we should combine our production, research and personnel potential in order to achieve powerful practical results. We certainly have everything we need to make this happen.

Only recently, the Union State Council of Ministers adopted a resolution on the key areas of activity for building a single research and technology space within the Union State.

Joint scientific technical programs like Novopol and Kompomat have served as effective tools for coordinating efforts by researchers and engineers in our two countries. They provided a technology platform for creating cutting-edge polymer and composite materials.

Innovation in the medical sector is another important area of joint activity. A program to develop advanced restorative treatment methods and technology using stem cells has been completed, and the program to treat children with congenital spine deformities will follow.

A developed transport infrastructure should be an integral part of the future economy. We intend to keep improving high-speed passenger traffic across the Union State and developing pan-European transport corridors through the territory of our countries.

The construction of the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant in Ostrovets has great prospects. I am confident that this city will evolve into a major research center and will win international recognition in the near future, just like Obninsk in Russia, where the first nuclear power plant in the world was built.

I have said it on numerous occasions, and I would like to repeat that our countries have immense resources in terms of human capital, as well as intellectual and educational potential. The leading companies and universities of Russia and Belarus have the capability to develop state-of-the-art technology and software products that could compete on the global market.

Let me emphasize that Russia is ready to engage in close cooperation with our Belarusian partners to ensure steady and lasting economic growth. We stand ready to coordinate our industrial and technology-related policies, develop infrastructure, and help create a favorable business environment.

The Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions also contributes to these efforts. We hope that the meaningful debates at this forum, the agreements signed within its framework and the joint programs that will be approved here will make a substantial contribution to strengthening the Union State and stepping up integration across the vast Eurasian space in general.
Thank you for your attention.

Speaker of the Federal Assembly Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.
Speaker of the Federal Assembly Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.


President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko:

Mr. Putin, Ms. Matviyenko, Mr. Myasnikovich,

Friends and colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,

This year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Union of Belarus and Russia. This date symbolizes our choice of a primary development trajectory – the shared aspiration to integrate and cooperate extensively in the social, economic and cultural spheres, among others. Much has been done in the past two decades. At any rate, no other state has done as much in the field of integration. There was much talk but not that much action. So, we have done a good job in this respect.

Production cooperation and the on-going Union Program show that we have achieved success by merging our material and intellectual capabilities. As a result, the economies of both Belarus and Russia are deriving considerable benefits. Inter-regional cooperation is playing a large role in this respect.

In the period under review, forums of Belarusian and Russian regions have become an open venue for confidential discussions of pressing issues. I would like to thank the heads of the two upper chambers of our parliaments, and not for the sake of flattery. This is not only their child. They are the drivers of this positive movement toward greater integration. I appreciate their cooperation in this vein. They are anxious to see the continuous development of our events in the forum framework. They are seeking out and suggesting new forms of cooperation. This is a good contribution to the construction of the Union State.

These annual events allow representatives of local governments and higher levels of government to maintain continuous contacts. I was told today’s forum is attended by representatives of about 80 Russian regions and all regions of Belarus. Of course, it is important that we are showcasing our achievements at the forum and even holding thematic sessions. It is not easy to single out one area of our cooperation. Ms. Matviyenko and Mr. Myasnikovich suggested (Mr. Putin mentioned this) a very complicated area that affects the future of not only our states but also our people.

The question is whether we will be able to survive in the long term. If we lag behind in the area that we are now discussing, we are doomed to stay there and nothing will save us, neither our potential nor hydrocarbons. You see the direction in which the world is developing and the pace of it. This is why we have chosen such a narrow but very promising area, and we have much to discuss. Over 700 specialists and top managers are present at this forum. This is worth a lot.

At present, we have 70 agreements at the level of the Belarusian Government and administrations of Russian regions. Each of them is accompanied by a specific action program for three to four years ahead. At previous forums, we discussed issues of agriculture, industry and social policy. Today, as I have already said, we are discussing a new technological mode. Cooperation in high technologies and information society is particularly topical. In Belarus, we are paying very serious attention to this issue.

Speaker of the Federal Assembly Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.
Speaker of the Federal Assembly Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.


One of the main priorities of the Belarusian economy is the development of industry – a sector that accounts for a quarter of our GDP. Importantly, high-tech and science-intensive industries make up over one third of the GDP structure. It is enough to note that at the pan-Belarusian people’s assembly three years ago we set an ambitious goal for the innovative development of Belarus. And we were right on target, as we can see now. However, when we studied world experience, we could not help shedding a tear – we were lagging behind. We are lagging behind. Advanced countries are ahead of us in terms of development, innovative forms of development and so on. We are lagging behind and we must catch up to shape our destiny, as the President of Russia has just said here.

The state program for innovative development until 2020 was endorsed in January. It includes 75 projects in developing new production lines. Its goal is to ensure greater quality and competitiveness of the national economy with resources concentrated in high-tech sectors. I think Russia’s prestigious schools and centers of science will always find attractive areas for development and cooperation with Belarusian colleagues, as the governors mentioned today.

I am convinced that it will be easier for our two countries, which have unique capabilities and experience of cooperation, to confidently step into the future together in order to compete in the world market at a fitting level.

Information is the key resource at the present stage of economic development. To paraphrase a maxim, ‘he, who possesses information, possesses the world’ – this describes the current reality in global politics, the global economy, and all other spheres of human life.

Cooperation between our countries in the sphere of information technology is becoming one of the pillars of our strategic partnership. The following areas can be singled out. Firstly, developing human potential. Secondly, improving the efficiency of public administration in the economy and social sphere. Thirdly, organizing a digital economy. Fourthly, ensuring the security of the citizens and the state.

Notably, our contacts in the sphere of information technology could develop more dynamically on the platforms that have already proved their efficiency, such as the well-known high-tech park in Minsk. More than 1 billion people in 193 countries use mobile applications developed by companies that are residents at this park. Over 90 percent of the software produced in the park is exported to Russia, the CIS, and Western Europe. The United States has a special interest in it.

We have set ourselves the ambitious goal of turning Belarus into an IT country. We will shortly adopt the legal framework for such a development path in Belarus. Importantly, Mr Putin, these legal documents were drafted by Belarusians and Russians, and submitted for consideration to the highest Belarusian authorities. I am confident that this will be our joint project and will make a meaningful contribution to the development of the most modern area of our society and economy.

Special legal regulations have been created to provide comfortable business conditions for the China-Belarus industrial park called Great Stone, which is part of the Great Silk Road project recently discussed in Beijing. The Russian President and I shared our opinions and made serious proposals during this meeting. I would like to take this opportunity to invite Russians engaged in modern technology research across various fields to work in this park. This park offers unprecedented working conditions. Importantly, the products to be made by park residents must be cutting-edge in quality and conform to tomorrow’s specifications, because if we create today's products, we will not be able to sell them tomorrow. After this Silk Road meeting, we saw many new residents arrive at the park. We reached agreement with President Xi Jinping that it will be not only Chinese companies. Everyone is welcome. We have many companies from Western Europe. I believe we will have this park completely built in 18 months at most. We had a slow start, but have picked up the pace since then. I would very much like Russian companies, even better, joint Belarusian-Russian companies, to work there. We have things to create there.

Extensive cooperation in producing high-tech science-intensive products is will pave the way to overcoming global challenges in the future. The main requirement to this produce is its speedy introduction into mass production in Belarus and Russia. This is particularly important because of growing competition in the world market. The elaboration and implementation of coordinated economic policies by Russia and Belarus will go a long way to encouraging such production, facilitating the growth of its export potential and promoting effective import substitution. As the President said on numerous occasions, it was a blessing in disguise. All those sanctions and the like prompted you and us to take action. After all, our cooperation is powerful and we constitute a uniform economic complex. It did not collapse after the Soviet Union’s disintegration. We simply added to what existed – something in Russia and something in Belarus, and something together – and this complex is functioning.

As for import substitution, we had to approach this three times, as far as I remember. We faced this issue much earlier than you did. We have been under sanctions for a very long time. And this blessing in disguise again provided a powerful impetus for import substitution in Russia, and we found ourselves in tune with the times. We adapted to this pace and today it is easier for us to work with Russia on import substitution. We must promote this trend by establishing Belarusian-Russian joint ventures.

Having sufficient research personnel remains a key factor. We have not only preserved this capacity, we enhance it every year. Almost 26,000 people and over 500 organizations are involved in R&D in Belarus today. In 2016, the number of postgraduates exceeded 5,000; more than 500 people were involved in doctoral studies; 50 people received their doctoral degrees and 500 received their PhDs.
I have to single out cooperation in the education of young scientists. I am proposing to the scientific community of our countries that it step up work in this area. Young researchers should have all the opportunities for close contacts with their colleagues. It is necessary to enhance cooperation between scientific schools in the most promising areas. Cooperation between Belarusian State University and Moscow State University is a good example. By tradition, Belarusian and Russian academies of sciences are the main drivers of joint research. Seven joint Belarusian-Russian centers and laboratories have been established and are successfully working in the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Another three are still in the process of formation – with the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow, the Institute of Gene Biology at the Russian Academy of Sciences and Kuzbass State Technical University.

The Joint Centre of Science and Innovations of the Academy of Sciences of Belarus and the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences is an example of successful cooperation. They have been cooperating successfully for a long time. It includes the research center of oil and wood chemical technology, the joint laboratory of innovative bioengineering technology and the Russian-Belarusian laboratory of systemic biology. They are working successfully.

I am convinced that the programs that we are financing from the budget of the Union State should fully meet high scientific criteria. We have already carried out over 40 union research programs in various industries. This allowed our two countries to merge their intellectual, technical, industrial and financial capabilities and enhance national security.

Needless to say, in our cooperation with Russian regions we are laying emphasis on supplementing our opportunities in joint implementation of federal and regional projects. You know, I meet every governor who visits Belarus, even two or three times. This is standard practice for me in my work and, generally, my life.

I am pleased that the Russian President reminded us of our joint project on Sakhalin Island. It is an interesting project. I have had a friendly relationship with Oleg Kozhemyako [Governor of Sakhalin Region] for a long time now. He used to work in Amur Region, we actively cooperated and supported each other with research, and our ministers accomplished a lot there. Then, he left for Sakhalin. Later, he came to see me and said, “Mr Lukashenko, we have things to do on Sakhalin.” My idea of Sakhalin was a place with rocky mountains, volcanoes, and such. Unfortunately, I have not been there. He says, ‘No, the land is good there, and so on. But we need science, specialists, and the like.’ Our Minister of Agriculture has been almost part timing there as Minister of Agriculture for three years now.

The Russian President learned that we have, in fact, created not just an agricultural town, but a top-of-the-line agricultural enterprise and an agricultural industry that could be replicated all over Sakhalin. Mr. Kozhemyako and I agreed that it was a matter of our honor to make sure that Sakhalin never bought another item of agricultural produce, but cultivated and grew its own. We brought our specialists, equipment, and seeds there. Not so long ago, we sent high-yield livestock there as well in order to develop our production there. This is happening on Sakhalin. What can we say about neighboring regions?

Similarly, Russians are working in Belarus today. We, at the top, may not know everything, but you are as busy – in the positive sense of the word – as ants, if you consider it all. I am very grateful to you for this. You are doing a great job, and we need to keep up this pace as we create our common space and show everyone that sanctions and pressure are not a problem to us, and we will overcome everything.

Comrades,

Thanks to the brotherly relations between our peoples, we have enormous opportunities and resources for further building up mutually beneficial cooperation between Belarus and Russia across all spheres. As I mentioned earlier, the regions play an extremely important role in this. To emphasize, regardless of geographical distance, all Russian regions are close to us, Belarusians. We hope that Belarusians will be treated everywhere in Russia exactly as the Vitebsk Governor said. So far, we have had no problems in this regard, we do not frighten each other, and we go to each other’s countries as brothers, as kin.

This is happening between people, not just our in speeches from high lecterns, whether we talk about social guarantees, citizens' rights, and supplies of Belarusian equipment, agricultural produce, scientific developments, or services. This approach will allow us to not only reach the modern level of technological development, but, most importantly, to preserve our unity and confidence in the future.

Thank you.


PHOTO:

Fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.
Fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.
Chairman of the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee Nikolai Sherstnyov at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.
Chairman of the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee Nikolai Sherstnyov at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.
St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.
St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko at the fourth Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Meeting with Henry Kissinger.

Vladimir Putin received American political scientist and former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger at the Kremlin.

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger.
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

Henry Kissinger is in Russia to attend the Primakov Readings International Forum.

Earlier, the President sent a message of greetings to forum participants and guests to mark its opening.


PHOTO:
Vladimir Putin with former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger.
Vladimir Putin with former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

Meeting with German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

Vladimir Putin met at the Kremlin with German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to discuss various aspects of Russian-German relations.

Vladimir Putin with German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.
Vladimir Putin with German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

The President also gave a positive assessment of the conference of Russian and German partner cities taking part in Krasnodar, in which Mr. Gabriel took part.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. Minister, colleagues,

It is a great pleasure to see you here in Moscow.

I know that you were in Krasnodar yesterday and did a lot of work on cooperation between Russian and German cities and regions. I must say that at the state level, our relations are developing too, despite the difficulties we know. Our bilateral trade is on the rise and showed a significant value for the first time this year, posting an increase for the first quarter.

There are other positive trends too. We are pleased to see this and we must now consolidate these results. I hope that your visit will contribute to this.

Germany is getting ready to host the G20 summit, this big event. We share the priorities that Germany has chosen and will do all within our means to implement the agreements that I am sure will come out of this work together.

German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.
German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (retranslated):

Mr. President, colleagues,

It is a pleasure to be here and a pleasure to have this chance to see you again.

Yesterday, we had a very impressive event in Krasnodar. It was impressive indeed to see the representatives of the municipalities and regions taking part.

We received the stormiest applause when we said that no matter what the political differences, we must bring people together and not divide them. Following this event, we had a chance to discuss all of the political issues.

The G20 summit will indeed be a big event and we hope that it will offer the possibility for a meeting between yourself and the US President on the sidelines.

We hope to be able to reach joint agreements on climate change issues. We place great hope on the strength of a dialogue between the 20 countries taking part. In short, we have a lot of work ahead.


PHOTO:
Vladimir Putin at a meeting with German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.
Vladimir Putin at a meeting with German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Press statements following Russian-Vietnamese talks.

Vladimir Putin and Tran Dai Quang made press statements following Russian-Vietnamese talks.

Vladimir Putin, Than Dai Quang
Press statements following Russian-Vietnamese talks.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have just ended our talks with President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang.

This is not the first time our guest today has visited Russia, but it is his first visit as head of state. Today, along with government officials and heads of major companies, we had a detailed discussion on current issues on the bilateral agenda.

We concentrated particularly on trade and economic relations. We saw a slight decrease in bilateral trade in 2016, but trade increased by 16.5 percent over the first four months of this year.

We put this increase down to the fact that the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union came into force in October 2016. Vietnamese companies are the first to gain privileged access to the Russian and other EAEU markets.

Reciprocal investment is growing. Russian investment in Vietnam’s economy comes to $2 billion, and Vietnamese investment in the Russian economy comes to $2.5 billion.

The Intergovernmental Commission and High-Level Working Group for Priority Investment Projects are working actively. Agreement has been reached on more than 20 big joint investment programs worth a total of around $10 billion.

We note too that the Russian-Vietnamese Investment Fund plans to invest up to $500 million in promising non-commodities projects, above all in \ pharmaceuticals and agriculture.

The oil and gas sector remains a priority cooperation area. The joint venture Vietsovpetro accounts for around a third of oil production in Vietnam. The number of actors taking part in this cooperation continues to grow.

Russian companies Rosneft and Gazprom have started working on developing Vietnam’s continental shelf. In Russia, our companies are working with their Vietnamese colleagues to develop fields in the Nenets Autonomous Area, on the Yamal Peninsula, and in the Orenburg Region.

We have agreed to continue deepening our cooperation in oil refining, petrochemicals, and production and sale of gas engine fuel on the Vietnamese market. We will also supply liquefied natural gas to the Vietnamese market.

There are broad possibilities for cooperation in the electricity sector. A Russian company, Siloviye Mashiny, is already building the Long Phu 1 thermal power plant in Vietnam. Our companies are ready to take part in modernizing facilities built during the Soviet period and to build new facilities.
We will continue our work on building the Nuclear Science and Technology Centre in Vietnam. We discussed cooperation in transport machine building, including projects to assemble Russian GAZ, KAMAZ and UAZ vehicles in Vietnam.

Mosmetrostroy and Russian Railways are ready to take part in building metro systems in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and in modernizing Vietnam’s railway network.

We invited our partners to take part in the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September, and agreed on more active work together in Russia’s Far East.

Our bilateral cooperation is very strong in the humanitarian sphere too. The Days of Vietnamese Culture were successfully held in Russia a year ago, and the Days of Russian Culture will take place in Vietnam in October this year.

In 2019, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding agreement on friendship, and we will mark this event by holding reciprocal Year of Russia in Vietnam and Year of Vietnam in Russia events.

Vietnam is one of the leaders in terms of the number of students studying in Russia. More than 3,000 Vietnamese students study in Russian universities.

Vietnamese holiday resorts are becoming ever more popular destinations for Russian tourists and the number of our tourists visiting Vietnam has increased 22 percent and reached around 400,000 people.
Issues on the international and regional agendas were a major focus at the talks. We have very close or common positions on most of these issues. We reiterated our willingness to work together productively within the framework of the main integration bodies.

Russia highly values Vietnam’s activity as the country holding the presidency in APEC this year. We will work actively to facilitate successful organization of the APEC summit in Vietnam in November.
Overall, the exchange of views took place in a friendly and very constructive atmosphere. I am sure that the agreements reached will further strengthen our time-tested partnership and friendship.

President Tran Dai Quang is flying to St Petersburg tomorrow and I wish him and all of our Vietnamese friends an interesting and memorable trip.

President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang (retranslated):

Mr. President of Russia Vladimir Putin, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me express my thanks to President Putin and the Russian government and people for such a warm and hospitable welcome.

It is a pleasure to visit the Russian Federation for the first time as President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Russia has long held a special place in my heart and in the heart of many Vietnamese. We have seen for ourselves the great transformations in the capital, Moscow, and throughout Russia. I want to congratulate you on these great successes.

Friends,

Vietnam follows a consistent policy of placing great importance on stepping up the comprehensive strategic partnership between our countries so as to work together effectively, in solid and substantive fashion in all areas for the benefit of our peoples.

President Putin and I just had very effective, fruitful and substantive talks. We gave our assessment of the state of cooperation and reached agreement in various areas on activating ties in the nearest future.

Our relations are based on a high level of trust. Our regular high-level contacts and good cooperation mechanisms show that we make a great and active contribution to developing our countries and building a stable world.

I am sure that effective implementation of the free trade zone agreement between Vietnam and the EAEU will mark a breakthrough in trade, economic and investment cooperation between Vietnam and Russia in particular and between Vietnam and the other EAEU countries in general. This will enable us to bring out trade turnover up to $10 billion by 2020.

We made a review of progress in key investment and other projects. We also examined opportunities for new projects and agreed on bolstering our ties in various areas.

These projects include assembly and production of cars, energy, oil and gas, and construction of infrastructure facilities. We expressed our readiness to support the oil and gas sector joint ventures to ensure their smooth work in both countries.

We gave a high assessment of military-technical cooperation. We also agreed to expand cooperation in fields such as science and technology, education, human resources training, culture, sport and tourism. Vietnam and Russia will continue to build the Nuclear Science and Technology Centre in Vietnam.

We reaffirmed our continued cooperation within the ASEAN-Russia forum in order to build a strong and solid ASEAN community and raise the level of our ties with Russia.

We have also agreed on working together in APEC this year, with Vietnam holding the APEC presidency. We will prepare actively for President Putin’s official visit to Vietnam and his participation in the APEC summit.

We discussed the need for greater efforts to preserve peace and stability and ensure safe shipping and air traffic. In the name of cooperation and development, we agree too on the need to resolve disputes in the Asia-Pacific region through peaceful means.

Vietnam highly values Russia’s role and hopes that Russia will continue to play an important part in and make an active contribution to preserving peace, stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
Let me take this opportunity to express my thanks to the Russian authorities for giving the Vietnamese diaspora here good conditions and ensuring that they can live and work in Russia in stable and lawful fashion.

We hope for your continued support so that our people can work in accordance with Russian law, enjoy stability, and be able to integrate into Russian society. In this way, they can become a bridge between our peoples.

Thank you.

Russian-Vietnamese talks.

Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin with President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang, who is in Russia on an official visit.

Russian-Vietnamese talks in the Kremlin.
Russian-Vietnamese talks in the Kremlin.
On the agenda were ways to further deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. The consultations focused in particular on expanding cooperation in trade and the economy, investment, and cultural and humanitarian area, as well as practical implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Vietnam.

There was also an exchange of views on current issues on the international agenda, with particular emphasis on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region.

A number of bilateral agreements were signed following the talks.

The Joint Statement following the official visit of the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Russian Federation was signed. Other documents signed concern cooperation on exchange of confidential financial information related to money laundering and financing of terrorism, the work of the Russian-Vietnamese High-Level Working Group on priority investment projects, cooperation between the two countries’ state treasuries, a project to build a nuclear science and technology center in Vietnam, developing space sector cooperation over 2017–2022, railways cooperation, and cooperation between Russian news agency Sputnik and the Vietnam News Agency.

The two presidents also made press statements.

Vladimir Putin, President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang.
Vladimir Putin with President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang.

Beginning of meeting with President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

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

I know that you have a very busy program. You just met with the Russian Prime Minister, and you will meet with the speakers of both houses of parliament, and then you will travel to St Petersburg.

I am sure that your visit will be a good boost for further developing the strong friendly and strategic ties between our countries.

In 2019, we will mark the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of our founding agreement on friendship, and we could organize reciprocal years of Russia in Vietnam and Vietnam in Russia to mark this date.

On economic matters, we had a drop in bilateral trade last year, by 1.5 percent, but trade was up by 16.5 percent in the first four months of this year, and this is a very good trend.

We have very good plans and big projects. We are very pleased to see you and have the chance to discuss all of this.

President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang (retranslated):

Mr. President, Russian friends,

It is a great pleasure to visit the Russian Federation. This is my first visit as President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. I thank the Russian government and people for this warm welcome.

I am pleased to see that our traditionally friendly ties have been developing well over these last years, especially since the comprehensive strategic partnership began.

I agree with you that we could hold reciprocal years of Russia in Vietnam and Vietnam in Russia in order to mark the 25th anniversary of our friendship agreement.

I have visited Russia before, though this is my first visit in this capacity, and so I have had the chance to see Russia’s many recent achievements. I want to congratulate you on this success because we see that Russia is developing despite the difficulties, challenges and sanctions.

You have succeeded in preserving political stability and developing your economy. We are happy for you and congratulate you once more on this success. Vietnam’s people welcome your achievements and see them as our success too.

I want to pass on warm greetings from our General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Vietnam’s other senior leaders.

We thank you for accepting the invitation to take part in the APEC summit at the end of this year and make an official visit to Vietnam at the same time.

We look forward to seeing you on our soil.

<…>

PHOTO:
President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang.
President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang.

Russian President with President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang.
Russian President with President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang.

Meeting with Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov

Vladimir Putin met with leader of the Russian Federation Communist Party (KPRF) faction in the State Duma Gennady Zyuganov.

Vladimir Putin, Gennady Zyuganov in Kremlin.
Meeting with leader of the Communist Party faction in the State Duma, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Gennady Zyuganov.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr. Zyuganov, we are meeting for one of our regular sessions to discuss your activities. As you know, I recently met with State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and with [A Just Russia party leader] Sergei Mironov.

Leader of KPRF State Duma faction Gennady Zyuganov:

So, it’s my turn now.

Vladimir Putin:

Let us talk about the issues that you regard as priorities.

Gennady Zyuganov:

Okay. But first I would like to congratulate you on the anniversary of Russian illegal intelligence. I saw a very interesting story. I served in a similar unit, only in military intelligence. Let us wish our special services success.

Vladimir Putin:

Yes, absolutely.

Gennady Zyuganov:

We have just held a congress where a new team was elected, a strong, young and modern team. I am happy to tell you that we have prepared a practical program to move the country out of the crisis. I wanted to submit it to you; I have this document with me, our draft of the law. I believe that its implementation would greatly increase the budget revenue.

We have drafted a bill we badly need now. It is called Education for All. We had the best brains working on it. You know them: Zhores Alferov, [Ivan] Melnikov, [Oleg] Smolin and [Vladimir] Kashin.

We also have a gift: we have finished building Russia’s best school. Since you have declared the Decade of Childhood, I believe we should join our efforts to implement this program. Back in the early part of its history, the Soviet government saved 5 million orphans after the end of the Civil War. After the Great Patriotic War, we had 19 million children who had lost both parents or one parent – the father. Back then we created the Suvorov and Nakhimov cadet schools and also vocational schools. We have a very effective program for supporting children amid the crisis and the sanctions.

Vladimir Putin:

What is this school you are talking about?

Gennady Zyuganov:

I will present it. It is located nearby, on the Lenin Farm. It is the school of the future. We spent 1.5 billion rubles of our own funds on it. It has a kindergarten and a unique children’s park based on Pushkin’s fairy tales. It’s fantastic! I suggest that you hold a meeting of the State Council or its presidium there.

By the way, the farm is doing very well, producing 10,000 liters of milk per cow and growing strawberries. The average salary at the farm is 77,000 rubles. This is a very interesting experience.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you for the honey.

Gennady Zyuganov: The farm also has the best orchards in the country, with 150 varieties of apples that grow in central Russia and some 50 kinds of fruits. They have pear trees and fruit bushes, and everything there is in an ideal condition. You should see it; it is very interesting.

Our Zvenigovsky Farm in the Republic of Mari El has been declared the best in Europe. We presented 32 types of meat products, anonymously numbered, at the Messe Frankfurt trade fair, and they won 25 gold medals, seven silver medals and the cup. When the Germans saw that these products came from Russia, and worse still, from the Communists, they were shocked.

This farm has paid over 1 billion rubles in taxes alone. It produces about 13–14 billion rubles worth of products. The farm sells them from Udmurtia to the Ulyanovsk Region and owns 500 shops. The products are made to Soviet-era standards and sell out within minutes because the quality is superb.
We have established a similar farm in the Irkutsk Region, and it has also become one of the best. Governor Levchenko has met with Chinese leaders, and they signed four new programs, including in tourism.

We have a program for celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Great October Revolution. We are grateful to you for establishing the organizing committee for this event. We joined forces with Moscow University Rector Viktor Sadovnichy to hold a large conference about this date at the university. The leaders of all the left-wing patriotic parties, and there are over 150 of them, have asked us to host the celebrations. We have plans for three-day celebrations in St Petersburg, that is, Leningrad: the Tauride Palace, the Hermitage, the Smolny Institute, the cruiser Aurora, and a gala meeting at the Oktyabrsky Concert Hall, which can seat 4,000 people. We also have a similar programme for Moscow: The Hall of Columns, the Kremlin, the Armory, and the Great Patriotic War Museum on Poklonnaya Gora. We expect some 150 delegations from 100 countries. I have prepared the programme and would like to coordinate it with you. I hope you will approve it. We will host MPs from many countries. The best thing is that nearly all of them support us on the matters of Crimea and Donbass. These people have a positive opinion about us.

Gennady Zyuganov in Kremlin.
Leader of the Communist Party faction in the State Duma, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Gennady Zyuganov.
Vladimir Putin:

When do you plan to hold this event?

Gennady Zyuganov:

From November 2 to 9, three days in St. Petersburg and three days in Moscow. The gala meetings in the Tauride Palace and in the Hall of Columns. The speakers are ready.

By the way, they are very loyal to us despite the sanctions. We have met with them in Beijing, Hanoi and Strasbourg. We will also have delegates from Europe, despite the sanctions. The left-wing and center-left parties have a favorable attitude towards this matter. They do not fear the sanctions, and they will be happy to come.

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PHOTO:
Vladimir Putin, Gennady Zyuganov.
Vladimir Putin with leader of the Communist Party faction in the State Duma, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Gennady Zyuganov.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Reception in honor of graduates of military academies.

A reception in honor of graduates of military higher education institutions run by the Defense Ministry, Interior Ministry, Emergency Situations Ministry, Federal Security Service, Federal Penitentiary Service, Federal Guard Service and Federal National Guard Service was held at the Grand Kremlin Palace.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with military academy graduates at a reception in their honor.
Russian President Vladimir Putin with military academy graduates at a reception in their honor.

Over 700 officers who graduated with distinction and a gold medal have been invited to attend the reception at the Kremlin, along with lecturers and academy heads.

* * *

Speech at reception in honor of graduates of military academies and universities.


President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Comrade officers, friends,

In keeping with the tradition, we are here today in the Kremlin to honor the best graduates of military academies, institutes and universities. I congratulate you on successfully completing your studies and entering a new stage in your career.

You have excelled during complex graduation tests in military subjects, showing the ability to use cutting-edge equipment and weapons. I strongly believe that you will use the acquired knowledge and skills by serving in the Army and Navy, law enforcement agencies and secret services, guarding Russia’s security and standing up for its national interests.

I would like to convey my warmest congratulations to those who taught you and all who ensure continuity in Russia’s military education, who helped you and your comrades master the challenging “science of victory.”

Vladimir Putin at a reception in honor of graduates of military academies.
Vladimir Putin at a reception in honor of graduates of military academies.

It is symbolic that we meet in the historic halls of the Moscow Kremlin that are filled with the spirit of Russia’s feats of arms of the past. During the Poltava and Borodino battles, on the battlefields of the First World War and the Great Patriotic War, our military commanders, officers and soldiers have won immortal glory by their military skills, as well as moral: courage, honor and dignity.

We are proud of the feats of our remarkable ancestors who did not spare their life to preserve what mattered the most for them – the freedom and independence of their Motherland.

I am confident that you will be their worthy successors by protecting Russia and its people with honor and dedication.

Comrade officers,

The complex international situation, the growing number of regional crises and conflicts, terrorist and other threats demand constant enhancement of our country’s military organization.

Only modern, powerful, and mobile armed forces can guarantee our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and protect us and our allies from any potential aggressor and from pressure and blackmail from those who do not want to see a strong, independent and sovereign Russia.

Over these last years, we have strengthened substantially our armed forces and officer corps’ professionalism has grown. This was demonstrated convincingly by our antiterrorist operations in Syria.

We will continue to further build the military capability of our Army and Navy on the basis of our long-term plans and programs, ensure balanced, systemic work to develop all branches and forces, and increase quality and frequency of military exercises.

I am sure that you will be at the vanguard of this complex and highly responsible work, and, as commanders at the different levels, you will make maximum effort to ensure effective training of service personnel. It is your direct duty to make military professionals out of your subordinates and teach them to become true patriots and competent, responsible specialists. Of course, you must also set an example in all areas, be a moral authority for the service personnel under your command, and preserve the honor of your uniform and the high status of Russian officer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Comrade officers,

The law enforcement agencies and security services have important tasks before them today, chief of which are countering terrorism and extremism and fighting crime and corruption. As before, these tasks require professionalism, operational skill, and competent use of the latest technology.

You must work consistently to improve key performance indicators in your work. It is important to ensure that each crime is solved, that the guilty are brought to justice and receive lawful punishment. This is what the public wants to see from you and you must live up to their expectations.

For our part, we will continue to pay attention to strengthening social guarantees for military service personnel and personnel at law enforcement agencies and security and intelligence services. We will continue to ensure decent wages, provide permanent and service housing, and raise the quality of medical care for service personnel and their family members.

President Putin at a reception in honor of graduates of military academies.
President Putin at a reception in honor of graduates of military academies.

Friends,

We still have much to do to strengthen all of our different security services and armed forces. I hope that you will execute these tasks flawlessly and service Russia with honesty and devotion.
Once again, I congratulate you on your graduation.

I wish you good health and success, and happiness for you and your families.

I propose a toast to Russia’s officers, to the continuation of our Armed Forces’ victorious traditions, and to our great Motherland!

PHOTO:

At a reception in honor of graduates of military academies.
At a reception in honor of graduates of military academies.
Russian President at a reception in honor of graduates of military academies.
Russian President at a reception in honor of graduates of military academies.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin with military academy graduates at a reception in their honor.
Vladimir Putin with military academy graduates at a reception in their honor.
The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

Visit to Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.

Vladimir Putin ended his working trip to Udmurtia by visiting the Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol, which is part of the Almaz-Antey concern.

Vladimir Putin signed the guestbook during his visit to Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.
Vladimir Putin signed the guestbook during his visit to Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.

Mr. Putin congratulated the plant’s workers on the enterprise’s 60th anniversary, noting that it has become a leader in the Russian defense industry over this time and has made great strides in other areas too: Output of civilian sector goods is increasing by 30 percent a year. Mr. Putin noted that these goods are high-quality, modern and find demand on the market.

The President inspected the production facilities and saw models of new military and civilian goods. One of the facilities, Meteor, underwent large-scale modernization and expansion in 2016 and produces new design high-tech goods – solid wave gyroscopes destined for use in guidance, stabilization and navigation systems.

President Putin was briefed on a facility used in pharmaceuticals production. It was organized in cooperation with German partners to produce infusion solutions. The plant management said that the solutions produced go entirely to the Russian market, where demand is high, but there are plans in consideration to increase production by 2020 and enter export markets.

Vladimir Putin congratulated the workers of the Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol on its 60th anniversary.
Vladimir Putin congratulated the workers of the Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol on its 60th anniversary.

The President also saw a demonstration of a solar battery developed at the plant. It is two times cheaper than silicon equivalents and is 45-percent more effective.

The plant’s main product is the Tor and Osa air defense systems. More than 20 countries have air defense systems manufactured at the plant in service in their armed forces. Kupol’s civilian goods include equipment for nuclear power plants, oil production equipment, and various types of climatic equipment.

Mr. Putin was presented with a model of a ZRK-TOR-M2DT military vehicle as a souvenir of his visit.

The President took the opportunity to congratulate one of the plant’s veteran workers on his 70th birthday and gave him an officer’s watch.

Vladimir Putin also signed the distinguished visitors’ book.

PHOTO:
Vladimir Putin in Izhevsk.
Visit to the Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.

Vladimir Putin visit to the Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.
Vladimir Putin visit to the Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.

President Putin visit to the Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.
President Putin visit to the Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.

While visiting the Kupol plant, Vladimir Putin congratulated one of the veteran workers on his 70th birthday and gave him an officer’s watch.
While visiting the Kupol plant, Vladimir Putin congratulated one of the veteran workers on his 70th birthday and gave him an officer’s watch.

Russian President visited Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.
Russian President visited Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.

President Putin visited Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.
President Putin visited Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol.

Vladimir Putin with a model of a ZRK-TOR-M2DT military vehicle
Vladimir Putin with a model of a ZRK-TOR-M2DT military vehicle