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Official website of the President of Russia

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Meeting with Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key

November 13, 2010, Yokohama

Dmitry Medvedev and John Key made the decision to start drafting the agreement on free trade between Russia, Customs Union states and New Zealand.

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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Prime Minister, I am pleased to have this meeting with you on the summit sidelines.

I would like us to share our views on the development of Russian-New Zealand relations, which are moving forward very successfully. In recent years there has been a series of events that, hopefully, will have a positive effect on our relationship.

You and I have just been discussing the issues of free trade. That is the next step in our ties. This initiative, which has our support now, will, I hope, establish a new trade regime between our countries, between New Zealand and the customs area shared by the Russian Federation.

Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key: Mr President, it’s nice to see you again. We’ve had very warm discussions both at the APEC meetings and at the summit earlier today.

This is a very important day for Russia-New Zealand relations. Arguably in the 65 years since we enjoyed diplomatic relations this is maybe our most important [meeting]. Today we embark on negotiations for a tripartite free trade agreement between New Zealand and Russia. I think for both countries this is a very exciting opportunity. There will of course be lots of work for our officials and our negotiators but in the end hopefully we will have an agreement which is a first for Russia and from New Zealand’s point of view a very important link to draw our countries closer together.

Dmitry Medvedev: While these issues are being addressed at APEC summits only in general terms, New Zealand and Russia have moved on to the practical realisation of these agreements.

November 13, 2010, Yokohama