September 13th, 2007 01:43 EST
Sergey Lavrov Following Talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay Reinaldo Gargano, Montevideo,
Sergey Lavrov: It is a great pleasure for me to be in Uruguay after you visited Moscow last year, after we held regular talks in Brasilia last December within the framework of the MERCOSUR-Russia meeting.
Uruguay is Russia’s oldest partner in Latin America. The intensity of our political contacts in the last two and a half years shows that bilateral relations are advancing to a new partner level. What has been achieved in the political domain should, of course, be translated into practical actions in commerce, economy, and military-technical cooperation. We discussed today what steps need to be taken to attain this objective. We will actively help businessmen of our countries establish contacts and agree on mutually advantageous projects.
Cultural, humanitarian ties are developing well. Mr. Gargano said that a whole array of Russian immigrants have made their contribution to the economic development of Uruguay and to the rise of its independence and defense capability. In this year of the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Uruguay, a whole series of important events and activities are being held. Russian theater and chorus groups visit Uruguay, seminars and conferences take place, among them those dedicated to the exchange of experience in the work with compatriots who have found themselves far away from their Homeland.
Mr. Gargano has already noted the identity of our positions on how to build affairs in the world. Our countries are strongly in favor of a multipolar world, of a greater central role for the UN and of a multilateral diplomacy based on international law.
It is in this spirit that we see the partnership developing between Russia and MERCOSUR, whose headquarters is in Montevideo and whose presidency Uruguay holds this half year.
Today in the course of the meeting with Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez Russia received an official invitation to take part in the MERCOSUR summit which will be held in Montevideo this upcoming December. We by all means will duly respond to this offer. We are keen on developing political dialogue with this entity and on enhancing the effectiveness and expanding the areas of our economic ties.
Once again I thank Mr. Minister and the leadership of the country for the cordial welcome. I hope that Minister Gargano will be able to visit Russia next year.
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