Russia's president pleased with Mideast visit

Other News Materials 14 February 2007 12:00 (UTC +04:00)

(www.itar-tass.com) вЂ" President Vladimir Putin thinks his Mideast trip was very successful.

I am very pleased with results, he said. We have not only strengthened positive tendencies but also outlined further steps.

Firstly, we reinforced the legal foundation of our relations, and, secondly, we discussed specific projects, he said, adding that it is question of military-technical and aerospace cooperation, assembly of Russian vehicles in the Mideast, and coordinated efforts on international energy markets, reports Trend.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are our important partners, he said.

All these factors show that the trip was successful, Putin said.

Russia will work for strengthening international energy markets, including the gas one, he said.

We will take part in processes targeted for strengthening international energy markets, he said.

It was not Russia that initiated the establishment of a gas cartel, Putin said, adding that he favored coordinated efforts of gas producers. There are several floors for the coordination of efforts of gas consumers, so why shouldn't gas producers do the same? he wondered. I think their efforts will not target for undermining energy security. The effect will be the opposite, Putin said. We wish to coordinate our actions on world markets.

A deputy energy minister used to attend gas conferences in Qatar, which have been held five times, Putin said. It is time to send the energy minister there, he added.

A number of military-technical contracts will soon be signed between Russia and Mideastern countries, Putin said.

As a rule, agreements are made public when a contract is signed. There are grounds to believe that contracts will be signed in the near future, he said.

Our military-technical cooperation is developing well, our sales are record, and rivalry is tight, he said. We are interested in broadening the markets for our high-tech products.

Progress has emerged in the Mideast settlement process, Putin said.

There are grounds to believe that the international mediating quartet may ensure progress in the Mideast settlement, he said.

Russia does not insist on holding an international conference on the Middle East, Putin said. We think this is a good idea, but we are not engrossed by it. We are working in other formats, as well, he said.

It would be unfair to keep off somebody in the settlement process, Putin added.

Putin has asked businessmen to help the Russian Orthodox Church build a hotel for pilgrims near the Jordan River. I hope that can be done quickly, Putin said on Tuesday.

Putin hopes that foreign partners will develop equal relations with Russia after his speech at the Munich security conference.

I hope they will hear us and try to make relations equal, he said.

Putin said he wonders why anti-Russian feelings are being used for the solution of domestic political problems in certain countries, including the United States.

In the opinion of Putin, he did not say anything new in Munich. The whole world is saying that. Some countries are doing that rudely, which is counterproductive and unacceptable, and some countries are doing that stealthily, he said. It does not become Russia to have a grudge against someone.

It is necessary to announce one's position openly and honestly, Putin said. We have been attentively listening to the opinion of our partners for ten years, but it seems that many partners pursue only their own goals in the relations with Russia. We are patient and tolerant about this policy, but there is an impression that they do not understand us, he said.

They have even asked the U.S. Congress for funding the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the deployment of missile defense elements under the pretext of the non-existent Russian threat, Putin said. It does not matter whether we reply or keep silent, there are still people to find an excuse for attacks on Russia. So, we should better be straightforward.

Putin thinks there was nothing unusual for American colleagues in his Munich speech. It is good that U.S. administration members and senators were seated right in front of me, because it is inappropriate to say such things behind their back, he said.