Twenty years have passed since we first met. Various events have taken place since then. Our states have been close friends, combined forces against common enemies, disagreed on small issues, reached mutual understanding, and avoided much-needed compromises. But what we did is negotiated at all times, no matter how difficult it was from time to time.
I can clearly remember how hard it was to reach a compromise on the Black Sea Fleet, and appreciate your major effort in that process. That negotiation resulted in signing the so-called Big Agreement between our two countries, which has served as basis for our bilateral relations until very recently.
Some of the conversations we have had over years were naïve views about big-league politics, many went against the common views. However, each time we agreed that lean peace is better than a fat victory, and swearing the rudest words is better than firing the softest bullets.