From left: President Bush, Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi, Singapore Prime Minister Lee, President Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao at the APEC Summit in Santiago, Chile in 2004 (Photo by: Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
Yesterday Presidents Bush and Putin met at the Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) summit in Sydney, Australia. Before the 2007 APEC summit, Putin and Australian President John Howard announced a deal for Russia to purchase Australian uranium to supply Russia's nuclear power industry.
"During the Soviet era, we built about 30 major reactors in nuclear power stations in Russia," Putin said. "In the coming 15-20 years we are planning to build about the same amount, and of course for these purposes we need this Australian uranium. As regards supplies to other countries, if such a need arises, our own resources will suffice." The deal with Australia institutes safeguards to insure that Australian yellowcake will not be exported to a third country without Sydney's consent, and that the uranium will be used solely for civilian purposes.
Meanwhile, Russian Economic Minister German Gref told the Russian press that Russia has the full backing of the U.S. to join the World Trade Organization. Gref added that negotiations would continue throughout September to resolve any lingering issues.
Click on the extended post to read the transcript of Bush and Putin's remarks.
Bush and Putin on a golf cart during the G-8 Summit held in St. Petersburg in 2006
Transcript from: www.whitehouse.gov
The White House
President Bush and President Putin of Russia Make Remarks at APEC
Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay
4:51 P.M. (Local)
PRESIDENT PUTIN: (As translated.) First of all, I would like to say that I am very glad to have this opportunity to meet with the U.S. President within the framework of the APEC summit. In the meeting we had today, I started with the words of gratitude for this fantastic and warm welcome which we enjoyed during our visit to Kennebunkport recently.
We have managed to cover all the matters on our bilateral agenda and the key international aspects, too. First of all, about the missile defense. We have once again said that it is necessary that our experts meet again very soon and make another trip to Azerbaijan to the Gabala radio location station. By saying this, we confirm that the process of our joint work on this -- in this direction is underway.
We also discussed the -- Russia's WTO accession plans. We hope that this work will end up with positive results and these endeavors will be continued on the expert level, too.
We also discussed the Iranian nuclear issue. And I would like to say that Russia intends and is prepared to continue this work with our partners and colleagues within the framework of the IAEA and the United Nations. And I hope that a solution will be found for the benefits of the international community in general, and the benefits of Iranian people in particular.
We also covered our economic relations. We discussed some particular large-scale economic projects, the implementation of which is to the interests of the business communities on both sides, in the U.S. and in Russia.
And we also discussed the environmental issues, in particular in connection with the forthcoming APEC summit. I should tell you that we have very close positions on these matters.
I would like to thank my colleague, the President of the United States, for a very constructive and open dialogue, which we enjoyed today.
This gives me every hope to believe that further on the relations between the countries will continue to develop in the same positive mood.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Vladimir, thanks. For a minute, I thought he brought up the Kennebunkport visit to remind me that he was the only one who caught the fish. But in fact, it was our -- my family's great pleasure to welcome my friend the President of Russia to Mother and Dad's home.
I have nothing much more to add than what Vladimir said. We did discuss a variety of issue that are of importance to our respective countries, and I found the conversation to be cordial and constructive. We are results-oriented people. We want to help solve problems. And we recognize that we can do better solving problems when we work together.
So I appreciate your time, appreciate your friendship, and appreciate the chance to dialogue on important matters.
PRESIDENT PUTIN: (As translated.) And we also agreed that we will enjoy fishing not only in the United States but somewhere in Siberia very soon.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, sir. Thank you.
END 4:58 P.M. (Local)
A Russia Today TV video about the APEC summit