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Meeting with President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela

June 14, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin met with President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela at the Kremlin. The Panamanian leader has come to Moscow to attend the opening of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues and friends,

I am delighted to see you in the Kremlin. Yesterday we had the pleasure of attending a concert together. I hope you enjoyed it.

It is the first time that your national team is taking part in the World Cup, and very many Panamanian fans have come to Russia. We wish success to your national team.

Of course, I am also glad to have this opportunity to discuss bilateral relations with you. Our trade is rather modest so far, but this is something we can work on. I know that you are accompanied by a large delegation of your business leaders. As far as I know, they plan to meet with their Russian colleagues at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry today.

President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela (retranslated): Mr President, to begin with, I would like to congratulate you on hosting the World Cup. The organisation is just perfect, both technically and in terms of security.

Indeed, yesterday we enjoyed a concert in Red Square with you.

This is a truly historic meeting, because it is the first time that the presidents of Panama and Russia have met in the Kremlin. I would like to express my appreciation of the development of our relations and our cooperation and to thank you for training Panamanian professionals in Russia.

I hope this meeting will open up a further way to develop and strengthen our relations and give a fresh boost to our countries’ bilateral relations.

Some time ago, Panama completed a project to extend the Panama Canal. This has made our country a real transport hub when it comes to both sea and air logistics. We believe that direct flights between our capitals will allow for the promotion of our bilateral relations, including in the field of trade and the economy.

Although the population is small – there are four million people living in Panama – our economy is steadily growing and we have become an important actor in Latin America. Our role in the region is becoming ever more important.

Panama is a neutral country. We believe that we are an ideal place to develop and continue the political dialogue to reach a consensus on various matters on the agenda.

Our government is set to develop ties with Russia, India and China in order to expand our trade and economic cooperation. I hope that you, Mr President, will pay a visit to Panama to see not only the Panama Canal but the whole country with your very own eyes as well as to meet our people.

We are united by our vision on many aspects of international affairs, including some common activities with President of China Xi Jinping. We hope that together we will be able to act to settle various conflicts we can see now.

Panama has always considered dialogue the main tool to resolve conflicts.


June 14, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow