Ladies and gentlemen, before I have the honor to introduce President Medvedev,
please stand up as a sign of solidarity with the victims of this terrible tragedy
which happened in your country two days ago.
Please, let's observe a minute of silence. Thank you.
Mr. President, it's a very special honor,
particularly given the terrible tragedy in Moscow, to welcome you here in Davos and I
should say to welcome you back to Davos.
Many of us remember so vividly when you made your impressive speech which by the
way was called "Modern Russia in 2007."
After a decade of post-Soviet economic and political turmoil, Russia has
reasserted itself as a leading global player, as a member of the G8, as a member
of the G20, and as a so-called BRIC country.
Under your leadership Russia has successfully overcome the consequences of
the global financial crisis and has undertaken significant steps towards
ensuring long term economic stability,
actively pursuing a modernization plan to diversify the economy, develop small
and medium sized enterprises, and investing in human capital, science, and technology,
and also advancing important sector reforms in housing, healthcare,
Since your election, Mr. President,
you have cut the knife to innovation revolution in your country.
Major investments have been made, also by many of us here in the room, in a project
to develop a high tech research
and production hub that will become Russia's Silicon Valley.
This initiative which you championed personally will create pathways to bring
technologies in industry, launch high tech startups, and facilitate the growth of
regional innovation ecosystems.
Mr. President, in addition to promoting and accelerating Russia's social
integration into the global business and economic communities you also have
overseen major evolutions in Russia's foreign policy with great progress made in
particular on relations with the United States.
…with the US has delivered a number of successful outcomes including the
establishment of a new START Treaty on the Control of Nuclear Weapons.
President Medvedev, we are all eager to hear from you Russia's vision of the new
reality and your plans for addressing the world's biggest challenges and risks,
terrorism being foremost amongst them.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the President of the Russian Federation,
Dear Mr. Schwab, ladies and gentlemen,
indeed the day before yesterday in Moscow at International Domodedovo Airport,
a terrorist act was committed that took lives of dozens of innocent people --
citizens of various countries fell victim
to terrorist act;
citizen of Russia, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany,
Uzbekistan. More than 100 persons were injured. They are now at hospitals.
That tragedy indeed shook the entire Russian society.
Although our country even in the past was subjected to serious tests, that act
caused indignation throughout civilized world.
I received numerous messages, telegrams, telephone calls from the leaders of
foreign states, leaders of international organizations expressing their condolences
and solidarity. I am grateful for the condolences and for
the words that I just heard from you and from other participants in the forum.
Together we mourn the loss of life. The pain from the loss of human lives of
course will stay in our hearts for long but what has happened only strengthened
our resolve to find an effective protection against international terror
and I believe this to be of utmost importance.
Those that committed that heinous act by aiming their blow against the citizens of
various countries expected that their act would bring Russia to its knees would
force us to be defensive.
They expected and hoped that the President of Russia will not come here to
attend the forum, among other things of course.
This is the criteria used to choose the time and place for committing that act of
terrorism but they miscalculated.
Russia is aware of its place in the world, Russia is aware of its
responsibilities to its citizens and will comply with them, and its responsibility
to the world community.
This is the reason why on this day I'm speaking from this roster.
Terrorism negates the most important thing, the value of human life.
It tramples upon any rights and freedom no matter ideological rationale is it
generates fear and hatred.
It is an obstacle to the efforts to improve our world.
The situation is also dramatic in that the terrorist acts in a cardinal way
disrupt the normal current of life
and such acts very often force us to take very tough decisions.
Those terrorist acts radically change the way of thinking not those who fall victims
but also the way of thinking of everyone living on the planet.
Unfortunately, no state in the world is immune to terrorism.
The reality is such that terrorist acts like the one that has just happened in
Russia, unfortunate enough, but the first time that happened at any time and at any
place in the world, no one is immune to that today.
There are no universal recipes t combat that evil but one thing can be said in
a definitive way.
Our success in conquering this common threat depends very much on our solidarity
and concerted action, particularly during the period when globalization has made our
world much more interdependent than it was some time ago and we have to enhance
and build it on our own efforts in our joint struggle against terrorism.
We have to do all we can to influence if not the ideology then at least the social
and economic roots of terrorism, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy,
parentlessness. And we have to ensure that global development is stable, safe, and just
Once again let me sincerely thank you for the manifestation of your feelings.
Our forum is conducted during the time when many tend to speak of the end of the
world financial crisis but at the same time it's quite obvious that it is not all
that simple. The period of extra rapid development has
resulted in many people becoming euphoric but the crisis has sobered up every one.
But we have proved with only one part of the symptoms of the crisis and so far we
have not found a model for growth and economic development therefore is bound to
be slower than we would like it to be.
At the same time we have learned serious lessons not only from the economic
Present day… technologically is well developed at least if we compare it with
what it was like 100 and 200 years ago but one natural disaster or technological
mistake would be enough for entire regions to be brought to the brink of
environmental catastrophe and continents would be cut off from each other as in
The eruption of the volcano in Iceland, major oil spill at… in the Gulf of Mexico,
the nebulous heat in Russia last year, catastrophic floods and snowfalls that
happened in various corners of the world - all these things make us think once again
about the fragility of human power on earth.
I believe that further procrastination would be dangerous.
The thing is not only that we have to complete long lasting climate talks -
although that must be done by all means -
what is at issue is also the establishment of a common monitoring system for the
environment and hazardous facilities and the common system for early warning
and alleviation of emergencies. Russia has advanced that initiative and I
hope that our partners too will agree that this question is long overdue.
Today we need very much new ideas capable of changing the world for the better,
ideas that would require the force of requirements to practical policy and would
be a standard for states, for the business, for public development,
and relations between countries.
Speaking of security, Russia sometime ago expressed its specific proposals for
concluding a new treaty on European security and I believe that such topics
can be discussed everywhere that would be useful including here at the economic
forum in Davos.
Today the actions by politicians, international relations and the principals
of settlement are lagging behind - ever more lagging behind the technological
developments. At the same time some politicians,
some people continue to live by the phantoms of Cold Wars, terrorist acts of Cold Wars,
and they're carried away by primitive ambitions, forced ambitions but during
this particular time, great amount of people, almost one billion people let us
think about by using social networks. For the first time in the history of
mankind, millennium-long history, people are communicating with each other directly
being located on various continents and this is mind-boggling indeed.
Our present day world is ever becoming - has become increasingly flat and borders
and barriers are expanded. Thanks to internet, people get united
and they are united by a single cause, a single idea, and no national government
can claim to have full degree of influence on such communities - perhaps that's for
Business also faces similar factors but there is a dangerous dimension to these
processes. Sometimes they serve as a very important
instrument for extremists, extremists who fuel ethnic and religious hatred.
They serve as an instrument for traffickers and drugs and arms and for
These problems are getting worse and we cannot fail to notice that.
At the same time the general interconnection should become a major
boost for economic growth and it aims to cut off those ties.
For example, attempts to limit the freedom of internet or the spread of
innovation - I believe everyone would understand that - would result in
stagnation for the world. Russia will not support initiatives that
come in question the freedom in internet,
of course freedom which is based on the requirements of moral laws
and legislation. Dear colleagues, I would task these to use
all the possibilities in order to make our new world a much more fair and just world
as believed by many citizens of our countries, a world where success will be
determined much more by talent and work rather than by the place of birth or the
family circumstances, a world where billions of people will be directly
communicating with each other, a world where people are not afraid of authorities
and international relations are free from double standards and hypocrisy, a world
where it is much better and much more efficient to work together, to work
jointly, all the more so since in many countries where a new generation of
leaders that come to power, a new generation that came to being after the
end of the Cold War, and we - and I'm referring to Russia - can discuss
and implement our dreams together. We are prepared and willing to do that.
All that should compel us to move ahead towards a greater level of transparency
and coordination. I believe that the positive trends as
referred to Mr. Schwab in relation between Russia and the United States are good
examples of new principles and approaches in international politics.
By the way, I'd like to remind you that yesterday our parliament definitely
ratified the Treaty on the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
In order to build such a world, we have to build upon a number of well known
principles, some of them we sometimes forget about.
There are a number of such principles and I list them.
First it is a strategic long term approach to addressing problems -- simple
and often popular solutions.
In nine cases out of 100 are wrong or proved to be wrong or perhaps even proved
to be worst out of all the possible options.
A case, a vivid case in point is tendency or trying to resolve economic problems
through nationalization, including the nationalization of financial institutions.
Indeed in the period of financial crisis many states paused to think about it
and many states took that option including states with a well developed liberal economy.
Our economy is not well enough -- I'm referring to the Russian economy - but we
have exercised restraint and we didn't resort to that option and I believe we
were right in doing that. I believe that in most cases, crises can
be resolved through the efforts of private
sectors and in long term perspective. This is the most effective way of dealing
with things. Secondly, it's realism and willingness to
live according to one's means. During the crisis many bubbles were
punctured, not just financial bubbles but also the bubbles of complacency.
I believe that everyone understand that we are not immune, we have no insurance
against the emergence of new such bubbles. The right to risk is part of free economy
but that right should be balanced be relevant responsibility.
The right to excessive risk is something that entrepreneurs should have,
citizens should have and no doubt scientists should have that right, within reasonable limits
of course. But states cannot have that sort of right
or the world as a whole, the right to excessive risk.
Present day realities in many developed countries are such that they face the
problems of sovereign debt, budget deficits, and despite all of that
unwillingness to reduce to cut expenditures.
Such a situation is fraught with new economic and political crises for the
By the way, very indicative in that regard is the annual address by the President of
the United States addressed to the nation which spoke of the five-year freeze on
budget expenditures. This is a serious measure.
Thirdly, I'm referring to global partnership and the right way to organize
it. No matter how difficult it is to renounce
the practice of individual or narrow group interest debt is something that needs to
be done. The establishment of the G20, and I'm
quite frank in saying that, is a major huge step forward.
On the one hand, the greater number of countries sitting around the round table,
it is - more difficult it is to reach consensus, more time is required.
But on the other hand, the more the better decisions are that are being taken.
In the experience of our work within G20 has demonstrated that.
We are prepared to use all the instruments at our disposal.
The efficiency of work in the G20 should be enhanced.
From general discussions even if the interesting ones, we should proceed to the
implementation of specific tasks. There are many such tasks ahead of us
and we have already achieved many things, many successes.
We have determined the ways to develop world financial institutions but still
there are many things that we haven't done yet and there is one topic to which I
would like to refer right not is as follows.
I'm positive that the present principles are not working, principles for regulation
particularly in the internet, and that is… for the entire intellectual property
rights system. And therefore I believe in the next g20
meeting, we should put that on the agenda and offer new solutions to the world
community, solutions that should be formulated at international conventions.
Russia will advance these proposals.
At the same time, we should develop new alliances of leaders.
It is important that the breakthrough as modeled by economists sometime ago has
acquired a huge credibility and the status of really collaborating organizations.
At least we intend to expand in that format.
Starting this year South Africa is joining this format.
Now it is BRICS, no longer BRIC but BRICS, and these are countries that stand
every chance to be the leaders for global development and to shoulder responsibility
for that process. I believe that one of such ideas could be
implemented in very shortly, that is to include the currencies of rich countries
in the IMF as... And fourthly, it is diversity, the fact
that various economic models exists, market economy exists in the world, it
is rather an advantage than a disadvantage. The crisis has demonstrated that the
models that were not perfect were shaken and suffered major losses therefore one
format world, no matter what the forma is, is full of risk and multi-format world
is capable of compensating for such risk and provides an opportunity to adapt to new
A few words about Russia - Russia is very often criticized, sometimes the criticism
is well deserved, sometimes absolutely not.
Russia is rebuked for the lack of democracy or totalitarian tendencies,
weaknesses of legal and judiciary systems.
Today we are the way we are and let me tell you that Russia indeed faces many
difficulties: in building the rule of law, in creating…
economy. Russia in the highest degree has been
confronted with the evil of terrorism and extremism.
Russia has many social problems to cope with although in recent years we succeeded
in resolving many of them. Finally Russia - all the decision makers
in Russia are not immune to ordinary mistakes but one obvious thing should be
understood, indeed major changes are taking place in public life, in our
society. We are indeed developing and we are
moving ahead, in particular in fighting corruption, in modernizing judiciary
and law enforcement spheres even though we have not yet scored tremendous successes
in that area. Those are our realistic attempts to
improve investment climate in our country and to improve the quality of life in
Indeed, we have not yet reached outstanding results in our efforts which
we are full of resolve to continue to persevere.
We are learning ourselves and we are willing to receive friendly advice but
what we don't need is lecturing.
We should be working together.
The feelings of people, their social self-esteem perhaps is the most important
indicator of how successful the country's developing, the convictions of the
citizens that they live in a democratic state and honest dialogue between
authorities and the citizens are key signs of democracy, direct democracy.
The quality of that democracy depends not only on political procedures
and institutions but also on whether people are prepared to listen and to heed.
It is not enough to have one's own freedom; you have to respect the freedoms
of others. This is the principle which is true for
relations between democratic states. I'm also convinced that democracy will
continue developing thanks to economic modernization.
Primitive raw materials based economy cannot ensure the improvement of life,
the quality of life of citizens therefore it is not capable of ensuring the
sustainability of our democracy. In order to avoid the threat of
population, democracy should have a safe base as a well developed society, as
a society of independently minded people. Dear friends, the strategy for
modernization of Russia and the principles that I have indicated are in full… has
been said. Today I will dwell on new opportunities
provided by modernization for successful business operation in Russia despite all
I'll be brief and enumerate 10 points.
First, sometime ago I initiated an unprecedented program in recent years,
program for privatizing state assets. A number of strategic enterprises in
Russia, according to my - under my decree has been reduced by 500%.
In the next three years, stocks of shares will be privatized for major companies.
The revenues - obtaining revenues is not an end in itself for us although of course
it is an important one. What is important is to increase the
competitiveness of major companies and to improve the environment for business
activities and therefore in engaging in that activity, we involve the leading
world banks. We also will set up a special fund for
sharing the risks through joint investment in modernization projects in our economy.
Third, we expect to receive major advantages from development of the Russian
This is the reason why I'd like to once again announce in this room that we will
not introduce any special taxes in the financial sector.
On the contrary, as of January 1st we have abolished the tax on the selling of
securities in selling out long term investment.
In that respect our position differs from the point of view of our partners in the G20.
We have no intention to introduce any further limitations on financial
activities. On the contrary, we would like to expand
the possibilities for financial institutions.
This is the objective of turning Moscow into a major international financial
center. It should not only become a new place for
Russian financial system but also a catalyst for the development of financial
markets for the post-Soviet area and for the central and Eastern Europe.
First, initial practical steps have already been taken and I hope that
starting this year, foreign companies will be in a position to make loans and to
track capital in the Russian rural market.
This would be part of Russian integration in the world economy.
Let me add that we are taking measures to enhance the efficiency of our judiciary
system for financial companies that will be working here - will be working in the
Moscow Financial Center. Fourth, we are setting up major markets
with uniform regulation rules to make them attractive for investors.
Russia is long ago - since long has been prepared to be admitted to WTO and I hope
that this process will be completed this year.
All of our partners have promised that to me.
After that, Russia would join OECD.
Finally, we are working to establish a common economic area with the European
It will be based on the principles of indivisible security, freedom of movement
of people, capitals, and good based on uniform technical standards.
Recently we established a customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan.
We are also now building common economic space, common economic area following
European model. All these processes are of major
significance, they are not in conflict with each other but rather mutually
supplementary. In other words, we are moving towards
establishing a single market from the Atlantics to the Pacific, a major market
where everyone will have advantages of working in.
Fifth, we have established and continue to create new possibilities for innovative
entrepreneurship and venture investment. I've suggested a new law be adopted that
provides universities with rights to set up ventures enjoying intellectual property
rights. This year venture financing will be made
even more convenient because legislation would be put in force.
This year, a major project of innovation center of cocoa will start operating.
Major - a great number of enterprises will be part of that culture.
They work in various parts of Russia and they will all receive preferential
treatment and I expect that would then hope for the emergence of new global
brands emerging in Russia in the next few years to come.
And the involvement of foreign business, foreign innovative business, will make our
chances for success even greater. Sixth, further opportunities for business
are being created by our large scale program to ensure energy efficiency.
I have approved some specific targets and new pilot projects are being implemented
in various parts of the country. New projects should comply with the
strictest standards of energy efficiency. Such standards have been already
established or will soon be established.
Of no less importance for Russia, taking into account its particular energy place
in the world, for the energy sector to become a major booster for innovation,
this is the objective why innovation and… will be carried out through global
partnerships based on equity swaps. Furthermore, such partnerships will be
a key factor in ensuring energy security,
something that we spoke about at the G8 Summit in Saint Petersburg.
Here today in Davos and sometime ago in other forums, we signed major deals,
major contracts during this year in this sector and I hope that alliances being built by
Rosneft is a transfer from words to deeds in that direction.
Seventh, we will make - take every time to assure the transfer - to go to
a transfer mechanism to modernize Russian industry.
Joint work and technology sharing is very important for all sectors including the
defense sector. I believe that in the future technology
transfers will help to create new levels of security and mutual trust in the world,
that's why we particularly welcome the establishment of the Russian-French
consortium to build helicopter-carrying ships, Mistral class ships.
Eighth, we are implementing large scale programs to spread the broadband internet…
and we're prepared to provide opportunities for any legal business to
use these opportunities.
The most important project implemented by
state, a project that I'm also dealing with, is the integration of banking
and public services based on universal payment card.
Development of payment is convenient for people, for our citizens and it is
a convenient thing for businesses. And also this is a serious instrument to
fight corruption in our country.
Ninth, we understand the success of the modernization of Russia is a combination
of tens of millions of personal success stories for our citizens and hundreds of
thousands of success stories for businessmen and entrepreneurs and experts
from the entire world. In the present day world the source of
any country and its ability to lead in the world economy are clever, smart,
well educated persons who have the knowledge and have desire to work creatively.
In the next ten years to come I believe thousands of our experts, bureaucrats and…
will obtain Master of Art and PhD degrees in the leading universities of the world
and later on I hope they will take key positions in Russian business, in state
administration, in science and high education.
Our task is to turn Russia into a more attractive place for the best minds of the
world. I believe this is a realistic task to
attract thousands of best scientists, scholars, and engineers to work in our
country. The inflow of foreign experts is needed
for us to learn best practices and to create good environment for the work of
our experts. This is the reason why we are willing to
unilaterally automatically recognize diplomacy in scientific degrees in the
leading universities of the world. Now we are working on the project in that
area. Now we have improved the migration
reaching for highly skilled experts coming to our country.
The business representative has asked me to do that and I have done that.
Tenth, we have launched the implementation of large scale
infrastructure projects including having obtained the right to pose major
international sports events. And this is not just the will of some
people who like sports, this is a realistic chance for us to modernize the
infrastructure. This was the reason why we did that,
to make that infrastructure convenient for citizens, for businesses, for trade.
All those projects will be based on private-public partnership and of course
those projects are a way to develop individual regions of Russia.
And accordingly, the possibility for people from various parts of the world to
come and see Russia and to understand at long last that Russia, despite all its
difficulties, is an open country which has already become part of the world
I hope very much that these ten areas, perhaps I have bored you by enumerating
them, but tomorrow perhaps those areas could be discussed in greater detail in
session here with the involvement of members of our government, Government of
the Russian Integration, present here in this room.
To conclude, I cannot fail -- to what I said at the beginning of my statement,
all our efforts to restore and further develop world economy would be futile if we fail
to overcome, to defeat terrorism, extremism and intolerance.
If we fail to unite in order to eradicate that evil forever, the evil is of greatest
danger for all of mankind.
And let me stress once again - our success on this road cannot be ensured by
efforts of states alone.
What we need is a broad ranging dialogue with the various structures of civil
society, expert communities -- they are in a position to play a major role in
education sphere, in advancing the ideals of tolerance and mutual understanding
among various social groups.
Regrettably, I am compelled to cut short my stay here at the Davos forum
and tonight, right after this session, I immediately go back to Moscow.
Thank you for your understanding.
Mr. President, let me first thank you for explaining to us your ideas and your
achievements. I have to add - related to a modern,
forward-looking cooperative Russia. I would also like to use this opportunity
to thank some members of your government.
We have an extraordinary group of leaders from your government here to follow up in
the next days some of the issues which you raised and which you raised in a very
statesman-like manner. I would say, Mr. President, you may
recall when you were here four years ago and you made your speech which was very
highly appreciated - I said at the end "We heard the speech of a future statesman."
Now, four years later, I can say we heard the speech of a real statesman.
Before we arrange the session and in agreement with President Medvedev, we made
a call on knowing about your… I should say for social media, we looked really - we
asked the public what questions should we ask you and we got thousands of votes
and responses but I have to say most of the answers you have already given.
But nevertheless I would like to maybe take up three or four questions which have
emerged from this polling.
They reflect really similar scenes. And the first question would be,
Mr. President, given the latest developments in Tunisia, how do you think government
should react to such calls for openness?
You committed yourself to the openness of the internet but what is your feeling of
what has happened last week which is so much also in our mind, the events in
What happened in Tunisia I think is quite a substantial lesson to learn for any
The authorities must not simply sit in their convenient chairs in their laurels
but develop themselves together with the society.
No matter what country we're talking about, be it Europe, Africa,
Latin America, when the authorities don't catch up with the development of the society,
don't meet the aspiration of the people, the outcome is very sad.
The chaos and disorganization will be faced.
And this is the problem of the authorities themselves, also the responsibility of the
authorities even if much of what has been suggested to the authorities
is unacceptable to them, the authorities should engage in dialogue with all types
of folks otherwise they will loose the real ground.
This doesn't imply they should follow any recommendations given to them,
the authorities, but they should listen to people, what people have to say.
Therefore, I believe this is a substantial lesson both to Africa and the
Arab world and to any authorities, as it were.
Having said that, this is a test for resilience and I count a lot that this
occasion in Tunisia will stabilize and will not make its fast effect on the
entire situation in the Arab world.
I've just visited Palestinian autonomy. I also visit Jordan.
And naturally I understand how difficult the problems at hand in Palestine are
and what needs to be done by all of us so that at the Palestine land the peace would
reign and the code with their nearest neighbor, that is Israel, would reign.
This is a big and difficult problem.
Having said that, we all need to remember that in several cases stemming from the
results of the vote, some authorities might take office which do not liking on
the part of the world community but we will have to take them into account as
well. Once again, this is a lesson, at the same
time, this is a test for Tunisia and this is a possibility to undertake a more
serious analysis in this region as a whole.
Mr. President, you have already addressed the issue but there was a lot of - there
were a lot of questions related to recent events which have raised concerns about
adequate legal protection for those wishing to do business in Russia and of
course also corruption was mentioned very often.
Would you like to add something to what you already mentioned before?
Perhaps I need to talk in greater detail concerning this very important problem in
Russia. Russia is not the only country in the
world facing corruption and where the legal system does not always act
However, we have to take responsibility concerning our own country, not fingering
to others saying they don't have less corruption than we do, we should address
our own problems first and foremost. How to do that?
Only thanks to the methodology goal - systemic countering to these corruption
pressure which includes a whole set of components.
First, simply put, a real investigation of the corruption crimes so that any
bureaucrats perpetrating such acts would realize that here he should end up very
badly in his career than a modern civilized accounting procedures.
Not so long ago in our country I introduced a mandatory declaration of
income of all civil servants. It's not an easy process.
Not everybody is ready to do that. You have to digest it.
Nevertheless, it has become part and parcel of our life which is important -
that's of course improvement of work of judiciary system of the codes and I'm
aware of all the problems existing in this area.
At the same time I'd like to point out that as of recent years, some recent
years, for the first time in the whole history of our country, we have adapted
this anti-corruption legislation which is already a step forward.
Now we have to learn to use it properly. Law enforcement agencies are not free
from public trends in the society. These need to be changed and this is the
main thrust of my work as a leader of the relevant structures and Commander-in-Chief
of the Armed Forces.
Finally, the court itself should be, on the one hand, absolutely independent;
on the other hand, the court should feel its responsibility before the society,
before the people, it shouldn't be behind the thick walls hiding, not allowing in
its corporation anybody who would tend to believe that there are some problems
inside the court. Therefore I believe it is necessary for
us to improve legislation pertaining to the monitoring of the status of our
judiciary system. As such, all of that is being done.
I cherish no illusions so that we'll be in position to do all of that within one
or two years but I'm glad we have embarked on that path and I'm positive we'll be
able to defeat corruption.
Mr. President, you have mentioned the START Treaty.
How do you see the next stage of the developments towards global zero
nuclear-free world? And in this respect, how do you evaluate
the relationship of your country with Iran?
I'm also glad that we have completed this negotiation process, START Treaty, to its
logical conclusion, almost finalized it. When I come back from Davos sometime later
there will be a text of the ratified treaty on my table.
I have had a word very recently with President Obama and we agreed even how we
can carry out exchange of these documents but we should go further from here.
I believe this was a very optimistic moment in the most recent history even if
there were many impediments on that road we had embarked upon, still on the part of
Russia and US we have finalized this process and I hope that it's now easier
for breathing of many people residing in this planet simply because we have been
able to agree upon these things which is also of paramount importance.
I believe we should continue our efforts in limitation of strategic offensive
weapons and other subject matter related to it, that's missile defense.
Today in Europe they have been deploying a European missile defense system.
Russia considers itself as part and parcel of Europe and nobody challenges
that anywhere and we would like to see to it that we too would feel ourselves as
secure if only because of the fact that this missile defense might one day be
turned into strategic nuclear potential. We have put forward our proposals.
We're open for cooperation and like to see to it very much that in ten years'
time the future leaders of Russia and US and of European countries would not have
any conflicts about it but rather would adopt concerted agreements on this core
which is very important for our future. We should follow closely the outlook of
the entire world missile nuclear weapon situation.
You have mentioned Iran here. Iran happens to be our partner neighbor.
At the same time there are several questions posed by the European community
before Iran and Iran must answer those questions.
The missile community so far has not got information to the effect that Iran is in
the process of building nuclear weapons.
On top of that Iran is part of the NPT Treaty, Non-Proliferation Treaty, this
is precisely why Iran must evaporate all the doubts on the part of the European
community concerning its nuclear program. They should put the case that the
peaceful nuclear program. Russia has a long term fruitful relations
with Iran and we'd like to use possibilities there so that these
difficult dialogue currently in progress be concluded with success.
Not so long ago I gave a call to the President Ahmadinejad and I mentioned
precisely that in this conversation and he told me he agreed with such position.
Mr. President, you were very generous with your time and let me just end this
discussion with asking maybe one or two more general questions.
One which came out of this survey on the web and one of the questions - it may be
quite provocative - was if someone would come out on WikiLeaks about Russia,
what could it be?
I believe just speaking at this rostrum here, I partially supported the WikiLeaks
here when I said that today one billion people in the world are interlinked with
this invisible networks of communication.
No other very serious secret can be guaranteed and immune form being disclosed
At the end of the day, I believe that this WikiLeaks story should make the spirit of
international relations healthier even if in itself this is an illegal activity in
understanding of several states but the impact of this story, I think,
for international relations is quite positive.
Now as regards, let's say, what basically is being leaked has been leaked, I believe
some people it might be of interest, to others it would be no secret at all,
just from my perspective, from what I read concerning Russia, from the materials
which found their way to these leaks, there has been nothing new to me in it.
Periodically, I got a sense that most assessments which found their ways to
WikiLeaks concerning Russia were taken from the general politics side in
Perhaps it concerns some but not us, we are tough guys.
Two last questions, Mr. President. Listening to you, I'm sure that many here
in the room have to correct some of the perceptions they had of Russia.
You showed us a modern Russia, an open Russia.
What is for you personally the perception which you encounter very often in your
discussion about Russia which makes you most upset?
One perception -- what do you feel is the biggest one perception about Russia?
I would think that any stereotyped perceptions can really be distressful
and I wouldn't think that there is just one sole thing in this regard which would make
me feel extremely upset and emotional sphere.
Sometimes it's unpleasant to read certain things.
And you know what struck me in this regard?
In the morning when I open the internet,
let's say through this well known gadget here, and I would read some reaction
regarding Russia, the Russian government. Me personally, I can tell you it
is waking me up very personally, I loose all the sleepness.
On the other hand I get a wish here to promptly respond to some of those
reactions through Twitter, to give a call to the present administration to dispel
some wrong perceptions there, but then I would shelve this gadget because no need
to hurry ever, you need to act in a clear cut manner with all the precaution taken.
Anyway, the truth will always find its way.
Very last question - you are a very young president and when you look now at your
present presidency - I know it's a question which you have answered to
a certain extent.
But what is to you personally - what is your driving force as a person?
You work so hard, you don't sleep,
but what drives you? I think the answer is very simple.
My work is very interesting.
Those presidents who think otherwise differently, most probably they are
The work which makes you be mobilized for 24 hours a day, responsibility which you
feel day and night, responsibility before your own country, before the people who
have elected you.
Well, in this case, you can always find some strength in you even if you are very
tired, if you suffer from jetlag, or even some unpleasant things are happening.
I think this is the most important thing for any person, including presidents,
in life. Therefore my work is very interesting
and very important to me.
Mr. President, in your important work,
we offer you all the best wishes.
Again, also our condolences and we hope that you continue what you have explained
to us and we wish you all the best success.
Thank you very much for coming. Thank you.