President of the Swiss Confederation Hans-Rudolf Merz (as translated into Russian): Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, ministers, members of the Swiss Federal Council,
I am very happy, Mr President, to welcome you and your delegation here to the Bernerhof Federal Palace, one of the facilities of the Swiss government. I am particularly happy that relations between our nations have developed so much in recent years.
This is the first time that a Russian President is visiting Switzerland. I am glad that our meeting is taking place on the eve of the UN General Assembly; naturally, it has a particular significance. This is a state visit, which gives us the opportunity to discuss some especially important current issues and share our views.
We have agreed that for the first part of the day, we will discuss our bilateral goals and agreements. The second part of the day will be devoted to issues of international security that European politicians are facing; we will also talk about the development of the UN and its structures.
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen,
I will try to be brief in my introductory remarks, because we already exchanged greetings during the meeting ceremony.
Nonetheless, I would like to say that, indeed, we also have very high expectations for this occasion – the very first visit by a Russian leader to Switzerland in the history of our nations. And naturally, this gives us a great deal of responsibility. I am very happy to be here with you.
I feel that the level of economic and humanitarian relations existing between our nations today is quite satisfactory. We have a variety of topics for discussion – both bilateral and regional issues, as well as matters of global importance. I think that we can certainly proceed as Mr President has suggested, following the plan that he proposed.
Currently, I believe that our relations overall are at a very high level of development. Our task now should be to strive to maintain them at this level, and even improve them. We should also work to bolster our relations through new bilateral economic projects, as well as bright, interesting humanitarian ties.
Furthermore, our visit coincides with a historic event of significance to both of our nations: Alexander Suvorov’s crossing over the Alps. It seems to me that this is a beautiful part of today’s dialogue, which not only demonstrates the extent of our relations, but also shows the history of our ties. And so, I suggest that we begin our talks.
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