Remarks
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Moscow, Russia
May 7, 2013


The video is available with closed captioning on YouTube.

PRESIDENT PUTIN: (Via interpreter) All right. Mr. Secretary of State, dear colleagues, we’re happy to welcome you to Moscow. I’m happy that we continue regular contacts with our U.S. colleagues at all levels. I recently spoke with President Obama on the phone. We spoke twice and we had long, substantial conversations. I had a chance to discuss many aspects of our relations. I got his letter. Mr. Donilon brought it to Moscow.

Right now, we’re working on our bilateral. I hope to be able to meet with Mr. President shortly in person. We will have a number of opportunities this year. I think it’s very important that our key ministries and agencies, including the foreign ministry, cooperate in finding solutions for the most topical and relevant issues of today’s world.

I’m really happy to see you, because it offers a chance to discuss in person issues that we believe are relevant.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you very, very much, Mr. President. I’m really happy to be here to see you and I appreciate your welcome, and I’ve had a terrific opportunity to work with your Foreign Minister on any number of issues and we’re very appreciative for his diligence and cooperation.

Mr. President, I also am honored to be here on the eve of your Victory Day celebration. I had the pleasure of walking through Red Square and seeing the preparations, and I even met with some of your veterans and I had a chance to talk with them about their experiences. And I think many people in the United States and elsewhere are not fully aware of the enormous contribution of Russia, the amazing sacrifices and the great effort made as a partner, an ally, to win that war. And we thank you for that great cooperation.

And Mr. President, as you know better than anybody, there are enormous challenges today that require the same level of cooperation, and I’m very happy that our professionals are working together now to work to deal with some of the issues of the bombing that took place in Boston, and we thank you for that cooperation.

And Mr. President, I bring you President Obama’s greetings. He related to me the substance of his conversations with you, for which he was very grateful, and he is looking forward to seeing you on the side of the G-8 in Ireland and would reiterate that there are many issues – economic, economic cooperation, the challenges of North Korea, Iran, Syria, and many other issues – of which he believes that we could cooperate very significantly.

And finally, Mr. President, I know that we’ll have a chance to talk about it seriously in a few moments, but we really believe, the United States believes, that we share some very significant common interests with respect to Syria – stability in the region, not having extremists creating problems throughout the region and elsewhere – and I think we have both embraced in the Geneva communique a common approach. So it’s my hope that today we’ll be able to dig into that a little bit and see if we can find the common ground. And the President – President Obama particularly feels that cooperation between Russia and the United States with respect to economic issues is something that would be of enormous benefit to both, and Russia’s leadership is so key on so many of those issues. We look forward to working with you.

So thank you very, very much for receiving me here today. Thank you, Mr. President.

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PRN: 2013/T05-01