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MOSCOW, September 12 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has described a visit to Moscow by British Prime Minister David Cameron as “long-awaited”.
President Medvedev said he is hopeful that his meeting with Cameron would be fruitful and focus on all aspects of bilateral and international cooperation.
Welcoming the British guest in the Kremlin on Monday, Medvedev said: “Esteemed Mr. Prime Minister! David, I’m glad to greet you in the Kremlin. Your visit is long-awaited because for many years there were not meetings at such levels and visits to Russia by the British prime minister. Of course, we have a lot of topics to discuss even despite the fact that we maintain contacts at international summits.”
According to the Russian president, he hopes that the meeting “will be fruitful and focus on all aspects of Russian-British cooperation in the bilateral and international formats”.
Despite the brief visit “I hope that [David] Cameron will be able to have any pleasant impressions on Moscow and Russia, and on how we live, and what are our today’s tasks”. “It is very important to give its own impression,” Medvedev stressed.
The British prime minister thanked the Russian president. Cameron said he is very pleasant to meet his Russian colleague.
Cameron said the meeting was expected to touch on different bilateral issues related to business-like and economic cooperation. He expressed hope that they would also discuss the upcoming meeting of the G-20.
In an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass ahead of his official talks in Moscow on Monday, Cameron said the Russian economy is growing faster than the average in Europe and offers great opportunities for British businesses.
“On the economy, we’re already working closely on a wide range of areas that are vital to our national interest. For example, our trading relationship is growing stronger, with British exports to Russia up more that 60% this year,” he said. “The Russian economy is growing faster than the average in Europe, and offers great opportunities for British businesses. That’s why I am travelling to Moscow with a high-powered delegation of British business leaders, and it reinforces why we must rebuild our relationship.”
“I’d like to see more trade between our two countries – more companies expanding their business like the Kingfisher Group opening 9 new stores in Russia; and more cooperation on research and development like the new technology developed in Cambridge that has enabled lightweight, plastic e-Readers to go to Russian school pupils,” Cameron said.
“And I want us to reinvigorate our dialogue with Russia on climate change and energy, human rights and international security issues; and increasingly close people to people links in areas like education, culture and science,” he said.
Speaking about such areas where UK-Russia cooperation could be strengthened, Cameron noted that “at a time when the world is undergoing fundamental changes it’s essential that two leading countries – both members of the UN Security Council and the G8 - are able to engage effectively with each other to tackle the challenges and opportunities we face.”
“That’s why we’ve put our relationship on a stronger footing in the last year, and I look forward to good discussions on trade, foreign policy and the rule of law,” he said.
“Of course, Britain and Russia are both hosting the next Summer and Winter Olympic Games so I’m sure we’ll be working together on those,” the prime minister said. “I hope we can share experience of running a successful London 2012 to help Russian preparations for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.”
“Russia is an important partner for the UK,” he said. “Although our differences in recent years are well known, we face many similar challenges and both the President and I believe that we can make more progress by working together on matters of real importance for the prosperity and security of people in both countries.”
“That’s why we’ve sought to put our relationship on a firmer footing over the last year and why I’m looking forward to my visit to Moscow tomorrow,” Cameron said.
The UK prime minister noted that the upcoming talks in Moscow “will be a great opportunity to improve our partnership to the benefit of both the British and the Russian people.”