Oleg Artyukov: An active week

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has recently had a lot of important meetings; Putin has been very busy lately. So, what are the results?

The Russian president has once again demonstrated his talent as a diplomat. The first person to talk to was the President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The leaders of the countries achieved an agreement during the talks pertaining to the participation of Russian firms in a deal for the delivery of Russian fighter planes to Brazil's Air Force. This does not give a 100% guarantee that the Russian planes will fly above the Amazon river. In addition, the parties agreed to expand economic cooperation. There are no doubts that Russia’s position in Latin America will be better after the visit of the Brazilian president. Putin’s visit to Brazil could make its contribution; an invitation has already been received. No previous Russian president(or Soviet Secretary) has been to South America yet on an official visit. Therefore, if Putin goes there, then it will be a world-class event.

After the negotiations with the Brazilian president, Putin left for Paris. His visit only lasted for several hours, but it was very relevant for Russia’s international position. The main outcome of the bilateral negotiations was the decision to set up a Russian-French council for the issues of defense and security. The foreign and defense ministers will be the members of the council. France stands for the rapprochement between Russia and NATO. Paris does not seem to be limited within the European structures; it is willing to cooperate on a bilateral level. The presidents discussed the issue of commercial and economic relations. Putin said that the relations leave much to be desired. However, observers noticed a 20% growth in trade between Russia and France last year. Therefore, we may have progress in that respect too.

Warsaw was the last destination for President Putin. The key subject of the discussion with the Polish president was bilateral economic links. There was an agreement achieved to construct a gas pipeline through the territory of Poland. In addition, the presidents outlined a combination of measures to increase the presence of Polish firms on the Russian market. The issue of the Kaliningrad region was not left without attention either.

As RIA Novosti informed, Vladimir Putin supports the decision of the Polish president to hold a meeting in Kaliningrad between the presidents of Russia, Lithuania, Poland, and the EU administration. One of the main questions to discuss at that meeting is the situation of the Kaliningrad region in light of Poland’s and Lithuania’s future membership in the Council of Europe. Furthermore, the presidents of the two countries attended an exhibition, “Poland - the offers for Russia.”

It is easy to mention that the issue of economic cooperation has been discussed in all of the negotiations. It seems like this problem has become the first priority for Russian foreign policy. It can be explained with the fact that Russia is aspiring to guarantee its influence on foreign politics not only in political but in economic terms. Expanding cooperation with other countries must have a positive influence on the Russian economy.

Another important subject that was discussed at the negotiations was the issue of European and global security. Cooperation in this field will definitely help to increase Russia’s international authority.

On the whole, the results of the negotiations with the presidents of Brazil, France, and Poland were successful. Now, we will have to wait until they become reality.

Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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