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Ceremony to present credentials

October 11, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin received letters of credence from foreign ambassadors in the Alexander Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.

The following 23 newly-arrived ambassadors presented their credentials to the President of Russia: Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela), Frederick Hamley Case (Co-operative Republic of Guyana), Vitezslav Pivonka (Czech Republic), Mario Dayan de Silva Jayatilleka (Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka), Norbert Konkoly (Hungary), Carsten Sondergaard (Kingdom of Denmark), Retselisitsoe Calvin Masenyetse (Kingdom of Lesotho), Rune Resaland (Kingdom of Norway), Fernando Valderrama Pareja (Kingdom of Spain), Thanatip Upatising (Kingdom of Thailand), Hugo Villarroel Senzano (Plurinational State of Bolivia), Atanas Vassilev Krastin (Republic of Bulgaria), Margus Laidre (Republic of Estonia), Gustavo Adolfo Lopez Calderon (Republic of Guatemala), Datla Bala Venkatesh Varma (Republic of India), Pierre Clive Agius (Republic of Malta), Francis Mariur Matsutaro (Republic of Palau), Marcello Beccari (Republic of San Marino), Branko Rakovec (Republic of Slovenia), Chol Tong Mayay Jang (Republic of South Sudan), Botirjon Asadov (Republic of Uzbekistan), Komi Bayedze Dagoh (Togolese Republic) and Simon Marco Mumwi (United Republic of Tanzania)

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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues,

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Kremlin, at the ceremony to present letters of credence. You have the honourable and important mission of promoting relations between your states and Russia, encouraging political dialogue and expanding economic and humanitarian ties.

Today we need diplomacy to play an active and constructive role, to use the power of words, negotiations and compromise to make a tangible contribution to overcoming the current difficulties in international affairs and searching for responses to new challenges and threats.

Russia is dedicated to a peaceful policy and progressively carries out a responsible course in foreign policy. As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia defends the basic principles stipulated in the UN Charter: sovereignty and equality of states and non-interference in their domestic affairs. We stand against using politically motivated protectionism measures and sidestepping the norms of international law.

Russia’s active participation in global affairs and openness to mutually beneficial partnerships with all countries and regions are motivated by our main national interest: to create the most favourable conditions possible for Russia to develop dynamically, to achieve ambitious social and economic goals and improve our citizens’ quality of life.

Russians want to live in peace; they want Russia to be a strong and independent state. We try to do everything necessary to strengthen global stability and to build a system of equal and indivisible security.

Our top priorities include an uncompromising fight against international terrorism. Russia’s actions to settle acute regional crises, including the Syrian crisis, are based on such principal approaches. With our decisive role, it has been possible to deal a devastating blow to international terrorism and preserve the statehood of Syria.

Based on the results of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi and Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council, the groundwork was laid for boosting peace talks. Together with our partners in the Astana format, we are actively working on forming an intra-Syrian constitutional committee.

The agenda includes the reconstruction of the destroyed economy and infrastructure, and helping millions of refugees return home, which would ease the migration burden on many European countries. We hope that assistance to Syrians in solving these problems will be a common objective for the global community. Humanitarian issues will be an important area of cooperation for all interested states.

Today, heads of 23 diplomatic missions are present here. By tradition, I would like to say a few words about our relations with each of these countries.

Venezuela. We sincerely wish the government, our Venezuelan friends and all people in the country to succeed in stabilising the socioeconomic situation. We are ready to provide all possible support in this area. And, of course, we will develop a bilateral political dialogue and implement joint projects in energy, industry and other areas.

We are open to improving mutually beneficial ties with Tanzania, in particular, in nuclear energy and the military-technical sector. We welcome the efforts of the Tanzanian government aimed at maintaining peace and security on the African continent.

Cooperation with Thailand is developing steadily; our diplomatic relations with this country span over 100 years. We will continue maintaining close political contacts, strengthening economic and technological cooperation, and promoting humanitarian, educational and, of course, tourism exchanges.

We are also interested in actively cooperating with Guatemala. Given that it is the largest economy in Central America, there are opportunities for expanding bilateral trade and investment ties. We will continue helping Guatemala with training and skill development of its personnel, including professionals working at law enforcement and security agencies.

This year, Russia marks 120 years of diplomatic relations with Bolivia. In June, fruitful talks were held with President Morales in Moscow. Russian companies are carrying out large fuel and energy projects in that country.

Next year, the Bolivian Nuclear Research and Technology Centre will be put into operation. There are prospects for strengthening cooperation in military technology, mining, education and other fields.

We are planning to continue pursuing dialogue with the leaders of the Czech Republic in a pragmatic and businesslike manner. Our bilateral agenda includes carrying out mutually beneficial joint projects in the priority fields of our cooperation, such as machine-building, power engineering, including nuclear power engineering, agriculture and healthcare. All these areas are under review of the Russian-Czech intergovernmental commission, which will hold a regular meeting next month in Prague.

We advocate a prompt resolution of the internal conflict in South Sudan. We support the efforts of mediating states, regional organisations and the international community.

We are ready for constructive engagement with our neighbour, the Republic of Estonia, based on respect and consideration for each other’s interests. Many of our compatriots live in Estonia, and we assume that the European human rights standards will apply to them to the full extent.

Our relations with Bulgaria are based on traditions of friendship and spiritual closeness of our peoples. This year Bulgaria marks the 140th anniversary of liberation from the Ottoman rule. In May 2018, President Rumen Radev and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov visited Russia. The talks we held reaffirmed our mutual commitment to further promoting bilateral trade and economic cooperation, including in energy. Unfortunately, some time ago, we failed to implement the South Stream project, but now new opportunities have opened up for Bulgaria to play an important role in transiting Russian gas to the European market.

Our official ties with the Kingdom of Denmark go back 525 years. The preservation of the historical traditions of goodneighbourliness and development of mutually beneficial bilateral contacts would surely meet the fundamental interests of the Russian and Danish people. We believe it is important to implement economically sound projects focused on strengthening energy security in all of Europe and work on issues related to the environment and the exploration of the Arctic and the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean together.

Russia maintains traditionally friendly relations with Sri Lanka and is interested in closer trade and economic cooperation, including in fishery, agriculture and tourism. I would like to note that in September we signed a bilateral intergovernmental agreement on military cooperation.

Relations between Russia and Malta are constructive and mutually beneficial. We see good opportunities for jointly developing cooperation in trade, the economy and the humanitarian sphere.

Russia and Hungary have amassed an impressive potential for cooperation. We are conducting a political dialogue and implementing promising economic projects, including in nuclear energy. The Russian-Hungarian intergovernmental commission is working effectively. The inaugural meeting of the regional cooperation commission will take place before the end of this year. During our recent talks, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and I outlined plans for further expanding our relations in various areas.

Slovenia is a partner with whom we maintain versatile cooperation. We are ready to work with the new government that was formed in September with a view to further promoting our cooperation. We are grateful to you for tending to the graves of our soldiers, who perished in Slovenia during World War I and World War II.

Our cooperation with the Republic of India is a specially privileged strategic partnership. This was confirmed, in part, by my visit to New Delhi last week. During this visit, we reached important agreements embracing the economy, the nuclear industry, military-technical cooperation, space, communications and culture.

Considering the proximity of our positions on key global and regional issues, we will continue close coordination with our Indian partners on major international issues, in part in BRICS and the G20.

I highly value our useful dialogue with the Prime Minister of India. Esteemed Mr Ambassador, I would like to ask you to convey once again my sincere gratitude to Mr Narendra Modi for his hospitality.

We stand for developing productive cooperation with our neighbour – Norway. Next year we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of northern Norway from the Nazis by Soviet troops. Considering the rich experience of neighbourly relations, we can move forward, expanding the horizons of our cooperation. Russian and Norwegian business circles are interested in new joint projects in energy, fishing and shipbuilding, to name a few.

Uzbekistan is Russia’s strategic partner and ally. We are deepening our bilateral ties in all key areas – political, trade, economic, military-technical and humanitarian cooperation. I hope that during my state visit to Tashkent next week, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and I will have detailed talks that will be followed by a solid package of joint inter-governmental and commercial documents.

Together with the head of Uzbekistan, we will attend the inauguration and a meeting of the Interregional Cooperation Forum and will give a start to the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan by Rosatom.

We believe it is important to further develop relations with Spain. Our people are united by mutual sympathy and respect, while official intergovernmental contacts date back more than 350 years.

Together, we have implemented large humanitarian projects and cross-years of language and literature, as well as tourism. We are planning to hold the Year of Education and Science. It seems we have all the conditions for bilateral cooperation to progress in other areas as well.

We are interested in expanding friendly ties with the Togolese Republic. We have good cooperation prospects in geological exploration and the military-technical area. We will continue to cooperate in training professionals for Togo.

We maintain constructive cooperation with the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. Russian businesses are interested in implementing joint projects in various areas, such as geology, mineral resources management and delivery of agricultural products.

We see good opportunities to promote cooperation with Palau in aviation and naval communications, as well as tourism. The agreement on ф mutual visa waver signed this September will help this.

In the context of the further development of friendly relations with the Kingdom of Lesotho, we will pay attention to implementing joint projects, such as extraction of raw materials using Russian technology and investment. We are satisfied with the level of coordination on issues on the global and African agenda.

Official intergovernmental ties between Russia and San Marino were established 25 years ago. Over this time, we have gained a lot of experience of mutual cooperation. We believe it will continue to develop and acquire new initiatives.

Friends, colleagues,

Russia attaches great importance to relations with each of the states you represent. We are sincerely interested in making your activities as productive as possible. Rest assured that all initiatives you propose will be supported by the Russian leadership, executive bodies, businesses and society.

I wish you success and thank you for your attention.

Thank you very much.

October 11, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow