Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks during a meeting with Vice President of Paraguay Hugo Velázquez, St Petersburg, June 6, 2019
I am delighted to see you, Mr Vice President.
Thank you for this opportunity.
I know that you already came to the Russian Federation last June when your President-elect Mario Abdo Benitez visited our country.
Promising cooperation venues have been outlined by our leaders following that visit, and we are resolved to implement everything they agreed on.
We have very close contacts between our foreign ministries. My colleague Luis Castiglioni visited our country in March 2018, and in September we had a meeting in New York. Yesterday our deputies had consultations in Paraguay.
Trade between our countries is growing, last year it went up by almost 40 per cent. I believe it is time to establish an intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation. Last October, we submitted a draft of the respective agreement to our friends in Paraguay. We expect you to ask the relevant ministers to give their response.
Our pertinent agencies are discussing cooperation prospects in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and peaceful exploration of outer space.
There are plans to set up a joint industrial park. All this is very forward-looking.
We greatly appreciate that our compatriots feel comfortable in Paraguay, including those who arrived in Paraguay in early 20th century and their descendants. I know that many of them have become national heroes for their part in noble cause wars. I visited the National Pantheon of the Heroes when I was in Asuncion and laid wreaths in honour of the Russians who died on your soil. I think it is very important to preserve the memory of our common history.