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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,
Welcome to Moscow! It gives me great pleasure to meet with you in the Russian capital. We know you as a very good friend of our country.
A third of your Government is made up of graduates of Soviet and Russian universities. I very much hope that you will see that you have many friends here in Russia and feel the warmth of our hearts.
Welcome, Mr President.
President of the Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou-Nguesso (retranslated): Thank you, Mr President.
I am very happy to come back to Russia and delighted with the warm welcome accorded to me, my wife and the entire delegation.
I have been to Russia several times. My last visit was to St Petersburg in 2006, when I represented the African Union at the G8 Summit. About 30 years ago I was here on an official visit, and I also attended the funeral of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev.
Strong bonds of friendship and cooperation have been developing between our nations since 1964. We have experience of joint projects in all areas. Thousands of Congolese people attended Russian universities, and now there are Government members in my delegation who studied here. Some of them got married and started families in Russia, so we have a very close relationship.
After the major changes in our country and in Russia, we did not lose the opportunities for cooperation and continued the efforts that resulted in such successful collaboration in the past.
I am very happy that this visit will give an added momentum to the relationship that emerged between our nations and our governments.
Vladimir Putin: Mr President, today we will have the opportunity to talk about cooperation in the economy, which involves a wide range of industries, including energy, infrastructure and transport, as well as humanitarian ties. All of these areas are of considerable interest to us.
We are very glad to see you. Thank you very much for accepting our invitation to come to Russia.