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Meeting with the newly elected President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benitez

June 14, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin met with the elected President of the Republic of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benitez, who arrived in Moscow to take part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,

I will address you this way, despite the fact that you are taking office only in August. I would like to congratulate you on winning the election. I want to thank you for coming to Russia.

Diplomatic relations between our countries were established in 1909. It is well known that our compatriots made a significant, tangible contribution to the development of your country.

Thank you for the fact that Paraguay received Patriarch Kirill. This emphasises our spiritual ties.

I am very glad to see you, to meet with you and talk about various options for advancing our bilateral relations. I hope that the time spent in Russia will also create the right emotions and a good mood, and will become the driving force behind the development of our ties.

President-elect of the Republic of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benitez (retranslated): First of all, on behalf of the people of Paraguay, I would like to thank you for the message that was sent on your behalf in connection with the election in Paraguay in April this year.

Today is a truly remarkable event for our people because this is the first time that the President of Paraguay offers his hand to the President of Russia.

As you so rightly pointed out, Mr President, we are united by a common past. During the hard times for our people, Russian officers gave us a helping hand and assisted us when we were fighting for freedom. Our people are extremely thankful to Russia and Russian officers for their heroism as well as dedication.

There was one special man, an officer, who will forever be in our hearts. I am talking about officer Vasily Serebryakov who took part in the decisive battle of the Chaco War, the battle which helped us triumph over Bolivia. On that day, Serebryakov said, “It is a good day to die.” He was killed on that very same day. We will always remember him.

To commemorate those events, we would like to present you with a few things. These are the medals of the officers who fought in the Chaco War. And this statue weights 7 kilogrammes. It is made out of the bullets used in the war.

It is a great honour for me to be the president-elect of Paraguay, and to be visiting Russia to meet with you. As a senator, I visited Russia and met with Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko. It was an honour to speak before the senators and it was the first visit on such a level.

Undoubtedly, information support of the Russian intelligence service is maintained well, so we can make good contacts at this level.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much and thank you as well for the gesture, for the orders of Russian officers. All of them, of course, will be kept in a proper place. We will definitely talk about it with members of the public. It is a momentous event that shows just how very close we are. The memory of such people must be preserved. In any case, we are doing this, we are collecting things and will use them so that the future generations know about our heroic compatriots.


June 14, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow