Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Li Keqiang, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China
27 april 2012
Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Mr Li, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a pleasure to have you here. I don’t need to tell you that the current level of Russian-Chinese relations is higher than ever thanks to our joint efforts. Russia and China proactively cooperate in the international arena, furthering their economic ties.
Last year, bilateral trade reached a record-high $83.5 billion. As is always the case with large-scale work, we may encounter issues requiring additional attention, but we’ve learned to resolve such issues as close friends do – by meeting each other halfway.
I know the programme of your current visit to Russia is rich and eventful. I’m sure you’ll have an interesting stay and that the work to be done over that period will benefit our bilateral relations.
Li Keqiang (via interpreter): I’m pleased to meet you, Mr Putin. Let me thank you and your government for the invitation and the warm welcome extended to me and my team.
Let me also relay to you the cordial greetings from President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, I’d like to congratulate you on your election as Russia’s new president. I wish you the best of luck for the May 7 inauguration ceremony and for your entire tenure as president of the Russian Federation.
As you said, relations between our two nations have reached record highs. And I think it’s only natural that we should continue moving toward new horizons. I think Chinese-Russian relations have bright prospects for the future. We’re walking along a wide road, but, naturally, it isn’t smooth throughout. There may be occasional bumps along the way, but I’m sure that as good friends, neighbours and partners, we’ll be able to find workable solutions and achieve success.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you. Please send my best wishes to President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. Due to their direct involvement, a great deal has been done in recent years to advance Russian-Chinese relations. We don’t have a single irritant in our relations, but we do have shared interests. We’ve managed to develop effective instruments for achieving our common goals, with the most important of these being higher living standards and socio-economic cooperation. I’m sure that during your visit, we’ll be able to review what has been done and to make plans for the near future.