Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
25 september 2008
Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,
I am pleased to welcome you to Russia again. We are very happy that you were able to pay a visit to our country. As far as I'm informed, your tour will include a number of countries, which makes your plan to visit Russia even more pleasant to us.
I would like to mention that relations between our two countries are developing virtually in all areas. Gradual implementation of our agreements has already started. New economic possibilities open up for us, including energy, advanced technologies, engineering industry and petrochemistry. We are ready to look at the possibility of cooperation in the civilian use of nuclear energy. I am very pleased to mention that the first Gazprom drill rig is scheduled to be launched in the Gulf of Venezuela in late October. It seems to me, the cooperation between Russian companies and the Venezuelan state energy company has a good outlook either for bilateral work or for entering the third countries' market. I cannot but thank you for the warm welcome given to the crews of the Russian strategic missile bombers, which stayed in Venezuela for a few days and had the opportunity to operate in this theatre. We are also going to fully implement our agreements for naval cooperation. A Russian naval task force is on its way to the Atlantic. We are ready to discuss military-technical cooperation as well.
We are glad to see you here. Welcome to Russia.
Hugo Chavez: Thank you. Thank you, my dear friend Vladimir, for your invitation to visit Moscow before the winter. I was here just two months earlier. It was an unforgettable and very fruitful visit. I think that our current dynamics of development is right, because the world is rapidly developing in the geopolitical sense.
You know, that Bolivar was a sagacious politician. Almost 200 years ago, he urged the integration of South America. He said the world would be evolving very fast, and would eventually sink our countries if they don't keep up the pace. I think he was right. The new dynamics will help us rise to the surface. Today everything that you said about the multi-polar world is coming true more than ever. Let us not waste our time.
A few weeks ago, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa visited us in Caracas. He is a young economist and a very dynamic person. Now he is staging a so-called civil revolution, as he calls it himself. The Constituent Assembly is going to approve a new Constitution of Ecuador next month. He quoted another of Ecuador's presidents, General Eloy Alfaro, a very patriotic person, as saying a hundred years ago: "Delays and tardiness are a great danger." Let us not hesitate.
On the plane, during landing, I was writing a letter to Fidel (Castro). By the way, he sends his compliments to you, as well as Raoul (Castro). So does President Hu Jintao, with whom we had dined a while ago. Writing to Fidel, I remembered a saying by Simon Bolivar: "Without fear, let us lay the cornerstone of South American independence." To hesitate means to lose, therefore we are currently doing what we should.
Vladimir Putin: South America is undoubtedly becoming an important part of the evolving multi-polar world. It's obvious. We will pay more and more attention to this part of our economic and foreign policy.