Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
16 december 2009
Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Moscow.
Mr Rasmussen, I am pleased to continue our personal relations and meet with you again in a different context. When I met with you before, you were Denmark's prime minister, whereas now we are meeting again with you as the Secretary-General of NATO.
I think we have issues to talk about. Indeed, if Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance pool their efforts in areas of common interest, we can achieve good results. This applies to combating international terrorism, controlling the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and delivery vehicles for these weapons, and fighting organized crime and illegal drug trafficking.
Although our views differ on a number of issues, we continue to cooperate and work together. I hope we will have more points of contact in the future that will allow us to resolve common problems by concerted effort and thus produce more results.
Welcome to Moscow.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen (as translated): Many thanks, Mr Prime Minister. I am very pleased to have this opportunity to meet with you in my new capacity as Secretary-General of NATO.
I was also glad to meet you in the past as Denmark's prime minister. I'm looking forward to improving NATO-Russia relations.
I think that my visit is indeed a new beginning in our relations. I agree that we can cooperate more than in the past on a wide range of issues, all the more so since we are facing common threats and share common interests.
I believe that Afghanistan is a key element of this cooperation, because we are facing the same threats - terrorism and drug trafficking - that have their roots in Afghanistan. We have already developed extensive cooperation on this issue but I'm convinced that we can do even better.
There are a whole number of other areas of common interest, such as countering the proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction and combating piracy. And so we have a lot of joint, shared work. I believe all our efforts will benefit people both in Russia and NATO countries.