Working Day

26 january, 2011 16:12

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme
At a meeting with his Belgian counterpart, Prime Minister Putin noted with satisfaction that over the first 11 months of 2010 bilateral trade neared the pre-crisis level, growing by 42%. In his turn, Prime Minister Leterme expressed hope that Russia and Belgium will continue to cooperate, in particular on projects for the Sochi Olympics.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. We are very happy to see you in Moscow.

I am glad to report that over the first 11 months of 2010 our bilateral trade neared the pre-crisis level, growing by 42%. There are several companies with Belgian involvement operating in Russia. Last summer you attended the inauguration of a new plant in Nizhny Novgorod.

I hope that we continue to strengthen our ties in trade and the economy.

I’d like to thank you for congratulating Russia on winning the bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This was very considerate of you, given that Belgium and the Netherlands also bid for the right to host the World Cup. We really appreciate. Belgian specialists have a wealth of experience in holding such events, and we hope that they will assist us with the preparations for the World Cup.


Yves Leterme (as translated): Good afternoon, Mr Prime Minister. First of all, I would like to express my deepest condolences on behalf of people of Belgium over the recent terrorist attack that claimed many lives. This was a savage and senseless act, and there is no way to justify it.  

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

Yves Leterme: I am happy to agree with you that our relationship and economic partnership have recently made a lot of progress.

This morning I had breakfast with a group of businesspeople who are very active in Russia. I also visited Gazprom headquarters today. It is very good that our relationship is focused on practical projects.

As far as the World Cup is concerned, we want to be good losers, so to say. At the same time, I’d like to note that we beat your team 2-0 in a friendly match – our Red Devils did very well. I hope we will cooperate on projects for the Sochi Olympics, and I hope our companies contribute to the success of the games.

I’d like to congratulate Russia on all of its successes. Thank you again for the warm welcome.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you. In April we expect a large Belgian delegation of businesspeople headed by the crown prince. We hope that these talks will be constructive and will result in new contracts. I believe this will help us expand our cooperation on practical issues, map out new goals and improve mutual understanding.

Yves Leterme: I think these talks will take place at the right moment, as the economies of the EU and Russia are picking up. They are on the rise already. There’ll be much to discuss, I’m sure.