"I am glad to see you here in Astana to discuss our partnership. I am pleased to say that our trade and economic contacts have been increasing rapidly and steadily in recent years, especially in 2006-2007. We have come close to the level of the late 1980s, though we have not exceeded it yet".
Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues:
I am glad to see you here in Astana to discuss our partnership.
I am pleased to say that our trade and economic contacts have been increasing rapidly and steadily in recent years, especially in 2006-2007. We have come close to the level of the late 1980s, though we have not exceeded it yet. On the whole, the growth rate and the extent of our economic partnership are impressive. Metal works and transport companies are at the top of the list. We can discuss them in detail later. I am happy to see you.
Sanjaagiin Bayar. Mr Putin, I am very glad to see you here in Astana. I have positive memories of my visit to Moscow in April, and of our highly productive talks.
There was an election in my country after our meeting. We had a difficult summer, but our party won a strong parliamentary majority, with 43 seats out of 76, though there remains a controversy in one constituency. We have decided to establish a coalition government to move away from political debates, which are often unnecessary, and to focus attention on key issues of economic development. We wasted too much time during the last term. We failed to commission any major project despite a lucrative economic situation, especially in mining, which is attracting foreign investment. We can only regret that we lost opportunities due to political squabbling.
We established a coalition government two weeks ago, and we will now adopt a four-year programme of joint action. It will focus on the development of mineral deposits, putting them into operation. In this respect, practical aspects of our cooperation, above all with neighbouring countries, become especially topical. You know, Mr Putin, that relations with Russia are a top priority in Mongolian foreign policy. A coalition government gives us a strong basis for hope that we can guarantee a consensus and stability in our country. Then, we will be able to determine the legal basis of our partnership.