Jun 16, 2021
Vladimir Putin Press Conference Transcript After Meeting With Biden in Geneva (English Translation)
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a press conference after meeting with Joe Biden in Geneva on June 16, 2021. Read the transcript of Putin’s briefing after the Biden summit here.
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Vladimir Putin: (00:41)
You are probably well aware of all the topics, strategic stability, cybersecurity, original conflicts, trade relations, we also talked about cooperation in the Arctic. That’s a list of topics. Please ask your questions.
Good evening. Maybe you can dwell on the topics that you discussed in more detail. For instance, have you discussed the Ukrainian topic? Have you discussed the situation in Dombas, and possible Ukraine ascension to NATO? And in the run-up to negotiations, there were a lot of expectations of ambassadors returning to their host countries. Your assistant, Mr. [Oshekoff 00:01:33] talked on that have you decided on that?
Vladimir Putin: (01:37)
With regards to return of ambassadors to their workplaces, return of American ambassador to Moscow and our ambassador to Washington, we agreed that they would return to their service, to their duties. As for the timeline, tomorrow of the day after this is pure technicality. We agreed that Russian Amathay and State Department will start consultations on the whole range of issues. Of diplomatic cooperation, there’s a lot to talk about, a lot of questions have piled up. I believe that both parties, including the United States, seek to find common ground and find solutions. As for Ukraine, indeed we have touched upon this matter. I wouldn’t say that we had the lengthy conversation on that, but as far as I understood President Biden, he said that the basis for the Ukrainian settlement should be the Minsk Package of Measures. As for possible Ukraine accession to NATO, well we just touched upon this broadly and there’s nothing to discuss here.
Speaker 2: (02:58)
[Itatas 00:02:58] News Agency. Please give the floor to Itatas.
Mr. President, you said that one of the topics was strategic stability, could you please elaborate on the decisions on this, and will Russia and the United States resume or launch negotiations on strategic stability and disarmament? And namely on the Neustadt Treaty do you plan to start negotiations on the further extension or review or modernities? Or maybe the signing of a new treaty in this area? Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: (03:44)
The US and Russia hold special responsibility for strategic stability in the world judging by the fact that we are technologists to nuclear powers, in terms of the number of war heads, reentry vehicles, and delivery means as well as the quality and the scale or modernity of this weapons. We realize this responsibility and President Biden took a responsible and timely decision to extend the Neustadt Treaty by another five years, 2024. And the question rises, what’s next? We agreed that we will launch consultations at the inter-agency level under the auspices of the US State Department, and the Russian Foreign Ministry. Colleagues at the working level will decide on the make-up of these delegations and the venue for negotiations, as well as the schedule of these meetings.
Speaker 2: (04:58)
Let’s give the floor to foreign journalist Matthew Chance.
Hi, I’m Matthew Chance from CNN. Thank you very much for giving me this question. First of all, could you characterize the dynamic between yourself and President Biden, was it hostile or was it friendly? And secondly, throughout these conversations, did you commit to ceasing carrying out cyber attacks on the United States? Did you commit to stopping threatening Ukraine security? And did you commit to stop cracking down on the opposition in Russia?
Vladimir Putin: (05:36)
As for the overall assessment, I believe there has been no hostility. On the contrary, our meeting took place in constructive spirit. Indeed we have the right assessments on a number of issues. First, both sides expressed their intention to understand each other, and to seek common ground, talks were quite constructive. As for cybersecurity, we agreed that we would begin consultations in this respect. I believe it is extremely important.
Vladimir Putin: (06:47)
As for responsibilities and who should take them, let me brief you on matters that are common knowledge but probably not everybody is aware of that. US sources, I don’t want to make a mistake here as to the name of this organization, but the US sources claim that the majority of cyber attacks are made from the US territory. The second one is Canada, then two Latin American states, and then the UK. As for Russia, it is not listed in this ranking of countries that see the most significant number of cyber attacks from their territory. That’s one thing.
Vladimir Putin: (07:23)
Secondly, 2020 we have received 10 requests regarding cyber attacks attacks on the US infrastructure. As our colleagues put it, these cyber attacks were launched from the Russian territory. And we received two such requests this year, and on all of these requests, our colleagues received exhaustive answers.
Vladimir Putin: (07:51)
On it’s turn, Russia sent last year 45 such requests to the relevant agencies of the United States, and this year we sent 35 requests, and no response has been provided so far. That says that we have a lot of work on. And as for the scale of responsibilities and who should take them, it should be decided within negotiations. We agreed that we would start such consultations, and we believe that the cyber security area is extremely important in the world at large, for the United States in particular. As well as for the Russian confederation to the same extent.
Vladimir Putin: (08:39)
For instance, we know about cyber attacks against five aligned organization in the United States, and we know that this company had to pay a ransom of $5 million USD. According to my information, there were returned to some parts of this money from electronic wallets, but some parts of this money is still missing, but what does and what do Russian authorities have to do with this? We face the similar threats when it comes to one of the key Russian regions and it’s healthcare system, and we see where theses cyber attacks are launched form, we see that these attacks are coordinated from the United States territory. I don’t think that the United States authorities are interested in such manipulations. We need to get rid of all kinds of insinuations and innuendo, and we should launch the expert work for the benefits of the United States and the Russian Federation. We have reached an agreement in principle and Russia is ready to do that.
Speaker 2: (09:57)
Arty, please give the mic to Arty. I believe some parts of the question was not answered.
That’s correct. And thank you very much for coming back to me, sir. So there were two other parts of the question. The first one is, did you commit in these meetings to stop threatening Ukraine? Remember the reason this summit was called in the first place, or the timing of it, was when Russia was building up lots of forces across the border. And the second part of the question, or third part of the question, was did you commit to stopping your crackdown against the opposition groups inside Russia led by Alexie Navalny?
Vladimir Putin: (10:36)
Well, to be honest this part of the question was not interpreted, or maybe you decided to ask a second part of your question. But with regards to commitments to Ukraine, I have one single commitment to help and facilitate the implementation of the Minsk Agreements if Ukrainian side is ready to do that, we are ready to follow this part without any doubts. Let me draw your attention to one thing, in November 2020 the Ukrainian delegation presented its ideas on how it tends to implement the Minsk agreements and it’s not a confidential document. It stipulates that first of all, proposals on the political integration of Donbas to the Ukrainian legal system should be presented as well as to the constitution. To this hand, constitution should be amended. It is stipulated there, that’s the first thing.
Vladimir Putin: (11:35)
And secondly, borders between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The Donbas line, this security situation should be ensured the next day after the election, that’s article nine. So what did Ukraine propose? As a first step they proposed to return the Ukrainian armed forces to their permanent stationing areas. Ukrainian armed forces should be deployed in Donbas. That’s the first thing.
Vladimir Putin: (12:09)
And secondly, they propose to close Ukrainian-Russian border in this area. And third, to hold elections three months after these two steps.
Vladimir Putin: (12:25)
One doesn’t need to be a lawyer, and one doesn’t need to have special experience to understand that it hasn’t nothing to do with the Minsk Agreements. It contradicts fully to the Minsk Agreements. So what kinds of additional obligations should Russia take care? I believe that the answer is pretty understandable.
Vladimir Putin: (12:45)
As for the exercises, we’re holding these exercises in our territory, just like the United States does with regards to many drills. But we do not hold our exercises by deploying the military equipment close to the US border. Unfortunately that’s what the American partners are doing with regards to our border. So we need to have these concerns, not them. But this is the subject of discussion and of clarifying positions.
Vladimir Putin: (13:17)
With regards to our non-systemic opposition and a citizen that you have mentioned, first this person knew full well that he violates the law that exists in Russia, and he had… Do you understand that he is a person that is a repeated offender? He deliberately violated this law. He went abroad to receive medical treatment. And once he went out of hospital and posted his videos online, a requirement…
Vladimir Putin: (14:01)
Online, a requirement appeared, but he ignored the requirement of the law, and he knew full well that he’s wanted. Nevertheless, he came back to Russia, and he deliberately wanted to be arrested, so he did what he wanted to do. What can we say here?
Vladimir Putin: (14:24)
With regard to persons like himself and the systemic opposition at large, unfortunately, the format of the press conference does not allow us to have a detailed conversation on that. But let me say the following. I believe that it’s pretty simple, and it would be clear to everyone, and if you could just have an unbiased coverage of this, I would appreciate it.
Vladimir Putin: (14:52)
The United States declared Russia as its enemy and adversary, and the Congress made it back in 2017. The US legislation have provisions that the United States should support the order and rule of democratic order in our country and support democratic organizations. And it is all contained in your legislation.
Vladimir Putin: (15:23)
Let us ask a question. If Russia is an enemy, then what kind of organizations would be supported by the United States in Russia? I believe these are not organizations that make Russia stronger, but those who deter Russia, and that is the goal of the United States that they made public. These are organizations and people that help implement the US policy on the Russian track.
Vladimir Putin: (15:57)
What should be our take on this? I believe that clearly, we should be cautious about it, but we would be guided and would react [inaudible 00:16:09] Russian law.
Speaker 2: (16:12)
Okay. Let’s give [Pavel Zuribin 00:16:14] the mic, and then we go back to RT. Pavel Zuribin, I wanted to follow up on this subject. I mean, look at it. Americans are continuously keeping up with this rhetoric of political prisoners in Russia. They peddle this theme. Have you even brought up the Navalny topic during the talks? And if you did, in what tonality?
And a second question. We are seeing a new stage of Russia American relations. It started with a rather harsh statement of his description of you.
Vladimir Putin: (16:57)
President Biden has indeed touched on the subject of human rights and the subject of people who think, who they are fully in tune with the subject, with this topic in Russia. We’ve discussed this.
Vladimir Putin: (17:11)
We have discussed harsh statements as well. We’ve heard him. He called me right afterwards. He explained himself, and I was fully all right with what he said.
Vladimir Putin: (17:27)
He offered to meet. This was his initiative. We’ve met. And once again, the conversation was quite constructive. And I once again understood that President Biden is an experienced statesman. Our one-on-one conversation took almost two hours. It’s not every world leader that gets this amount of attention.
Vladimir Putin: (17:57)
His predecessor was asked the same question. He evaded this. This president decided to respond to the question directly. And in this, he is very different from President Trump.
Vladimir Putin: (18:11)
But look at it this way. Anything that happens in our country is something that political leadership is responsible for, and the president’s included. Who stands accused of what? Who’s the killer?
Vladimir Putin: (18:29)
But look at it this way. Look at the American streets. People are getting killed there, including those who are leading the various political organizations. You can get a bullet in the back of your neck. A woman just ran away from the police, and they shot her in the back.
Vladimir Putin: (18:53)
But take Afghanistan. One single strike can kill to the tune of 120 people. All right. Assuming this was a mistake, it happens on a war, but shooting from a drone at an unarmed crowd, clearly the civilian crowd, what is this about? How would you call that? And who’s responsible for this? And how would you call this person? Who is the killer now? All going back to the human rights record.
Vladimir Putin: (19:25)
The Guantanamo Prison is still operating. It doesn’t even start to resemble what is stipulated in the international law or in the US legislation, and yet it exists.
Vladimir Putin: (19:40)
Secret CIA prisons across the globe, including those in European countries, where people were tortured. Is this a great human rights record? Oh, I doubt that. Would anyone here would agree that this is how you protect the human rights?
Vladimir Putin: (19:58)
But these are facts on the ground, and this is the reality of the politics today. And we understand that this is how it’s been done, and on the basis of that, we respond. When people get funding from abroad to stand for the hidden agenda of those who are paying them, who pays the piper? RT now, please.
RT, a question about the Arctic. You’ve mentioned the discussion on this track, and United States have been accusing Russia of militarizing the Arctic, and so do the United States allies. In March, State Secretary Blinken voiced his concern. What have you discussed in detail?
Vladimir Putin: (20:48)
Well, we’ve discussed this in an extended format with our aides president, and it’s an interesting field. The exploration of the Arctic, and in general, and of Northern Sea Route in particular, is of huge interest for many countries, not just us and the United States.
Vladimir Putin: (21:10)
Yes, United States have concerns, but they are completely baseless. These concerns about the militarization are baseless. We are not doing anything new. We are simply restoring the infrastructure that has already been there.
Vladimir Putin: (21:24)
All right. We are retooling this. We are retrofitting this, the borderline infrastructure, the military infrastructure, but also the environment conservation and emergency command and search and rescue infrastructure. We are creating the capacity to save people at sea, if that, God forbid, happens. We’re trying to protect the environment.
Vladimir Putin: (21:46)
I have told our colleagues that I see no grounds for concern whatsoever. Quite the opposite. I think there’s plenty of ground for collaboration, and we should collaborate on this. After all, Russia and the United States are one of the eight members of the Arctic Council. And by the way, Russia chairs the Arctic Council this year.
Vladimir Putin: (22:07)
Moreover, as you probably know, there is a strait between Alaska and Chukotka. On one side, you have the United States, and the other, Russia. All this taken together should actually prompt us to work together to redouble the effort.
Vladimir Putin: (22:25)
And the use of Northern Sea Route, its use is regulated by the international law. There are two major regulations as the Law of the Sea of the United Nations that dates back to 1983, if I’m not mistaken, and the Polar Code, which is comprised of several documents, which was ratified in 2017. That’s the legal framework.
Vladimir Putin: (22:49)
I drew the attention of our counterparts to this and to the fact that we, Russia, fully stand ready to stand by these international regulations. We have never infringed upon any of them. We stand ready to lend a helping hand to all the countries and companies who wish to explore the possibilities of Northern Sea Route.
Vladimir Putin: (23:11)
Now the navigation’s open for half a year, but in fact, it’s more than that. And as the planet warms, this navigation will be open for a longer time.
Vladimir Putin: (23:23)
New icebreakers, including the leader icebreaker are put online, and we have the mightiest icebreaker fleet in the world. This proves much demand for the use of Northern Sea Route.
Vladimir Putin: (23:39)
Now, the Law of the Sea of the United Nations describes and sets the legal framework in and around of the international waters, territorial waters of the country, adjacent seas, exclusive economic zone, and the freedom of the sea. Internal seas. What is that? These are the seas that lie within the sovereign territory of the country. Then, the territorial sea, 12 miles, adjacent sea, 12 more miles. In terms of adjacent seas, the country in question should give the free and peaceful right of passage, even to the military ships. Do we object? No, we don’t.
Vladimir Putin: (24:29)
Now, the internal seas is something different. We’re not obliged to provide anyone anything. But bear in mind this. The territory of the internal seas, I think that’s, well, five of them, the [inaudible 00:24:45] territory [inaudible 00:24:53] bay, and some others, the length of this is to the tune of 1,000 nautical miles. Well, this is a sovereign right that we enjoy, whether we want to give the right of passage.
Vladimir Putin: (25:07)
But we’re not abusing this right. Last year alone, we had 1,000 requests to cross them, and I think we’ve only rejected 10 requests, and the majority of them is the ships that fly the Russian flag. And the regulating agencies deemed them unfit to comply with the Polar Code, and the Polar Code itself, Polar Code proper, defines and spells out the requirements for the ships that are crossing these seas.
Vladimir Putin: (25:42)
Take us altogether, the stakeholder states, members of the Nordic Council. We can do much good together. There are plenty of things for concerns and for contradictions, but I think that there’s no issue that cannot be solved if we engage in earnest effort. NTV, [Rada Zinalava 00:26:06] please.
Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good or at least not bad relations between Russia and the United States have always been the guarantor, the guarantee of stability in the world. What you just said, Biden agreed with you. Now you’re talking about the mutual respect and relative calm and warmth as something that can characterize this meeting.
You’ve probably talked about red lines, but Americans have red lines as well. Did you manage, at this meeting, to agree on how not to cross the red lines? And by doing so, to improve, or at least not deteriorate, the relations?
Vladimir Putin: (26:54)
Let me put it this way. We understand what our American partners are talking about, and they understand what we are talking about when we say, “This is a red line.” But I’ll give it to you point blank. We haven’t went so far as to define the specifics.
Vladimir Putin: (27:16)
But we have agreed to work together to continue and follow through on cyber security, on strategic stability. And I think that it is during these consultations and in our common effort in the Arctic, we’ll be able to spell out the specific details.
Vladimir Putin: (27:38)
ABC News, please, our American partners. (silence)
Reporter 1: (28:00)
A quick follow-up if I may, sir. The list of your political opponents who are dead, prisoned, or jailed is long. Alexei Navalny’s organization calls for free and fair elections and end to corruption, but Russia has outlawed that organization calling it extremist. And you have now prevented anyone who supports him to run for office. So my question is Mr. President, what are you so afraid of?
Vladimir Putin: (28:30)
Let me just reiterate what I’ve just said on the “so-called” foreign agents and people who portray themselves as the non-systemic opposition. I think I’ve responded to your CNN colleagues, but I think this the rules of the game so I have to repeat it when I repeat it to your question. Okay, fine by me, I can do it.
Vladimir Putin: (29:03)
The United States has a law that spells out that the United States will support specific candidates and organizations in Russia. At the same time, the Russian Federation was labeled as an adversary. They went on the record and said publicly that they will stymie the development of Russia. It begs the question, what kind of organizations the United States and the West will be supporting and pay them if we are an adversary?
Vladimir Putin: (29:39)
It’s quite clear that, like the United States back in the thirties, we’ve labeled them as foreign agents but we haven’t banned them. I mean, they can operate all right. If you are labeled as a foreign agent, that does not preclude you from operating in the country. Well, if it’s an extremist organization, that’s a whole different story. The organization in question, publicly, has called for riots and public disorder. It has openly instructed people in how to make Molotov cocktails so to use them against law enforcement. It called for the participation of underaged persons in riots. America has just recently went through a grievous chain of events after a certain African-American individual was killed and an entire movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, appeared. I’m not going to go into details, I will spare you of them. But we’ve seen programs, we have seen looting and violations and riots. We sympathize with the Americans but we do not want for the same thing to happen on Russian soil, and we’ll do anything possible to prevent this. And it’s not about me fearing anything. If you want to think that…
Vladimir Putin: (31:10)
Can you please give the mic?
Reporter 1: (31:10)
You didn’t answer my question, sir. If all of your political opponents are dead in prison, poisoned, doesn’t that send a message that you do not want a fair political fight?
Vladimir Putin: (31:28)
All right. About my opponents being jailed or imprisoned. People went into US Congress with political demands. 400 people now facing criminal charges. They are facing prison terms of up to 20, maybe 25 years. They are called homegrown terrorists. They are being accused of many other things. 70 people were arrested right there on the spot, 30 of them are still arrested. On what grounds? Not quite clear. I mean, none of the official authorities from the States are informing us about it, so we don’t know that. One of the participants, a woman, was shot dead on the spot. She was not threatening with anything.
Vladimir Putin: (32:28)
Why am I bringing this up? Many people are facing the same things as we do. And I am stressing this. We are sympathizing with the United States, but we do not want the same thing repeating here. A couple more questions, please.
Reporter 2: (32:55)
Good day. [Inaudible 00:32:55], Izvestia Newspaper. Did you manage to agree with the US side on the return of certain Russian citizens that are jailed in US prisons? And if it is the case, when could it happen?
Vladimir Putin: (33:05)
Indeed, we brought this up and President Biden brought this up with regards to US citizens that are currently in Russian prisons. And we discussed this. There could be some ground for compromise. Russian Foreign Ministry and the US State Department will work in this direction.
Speaker 5: (33:32)
Rossiya TV channel, the recapping question.
Mikhail Antonov: (33:35)
Good day. Mikhail Antonov, Rossiya 1 TV Channel. You said that you discussed trade with President Biden. Maybe that’s one of the positive points. Business communities seek cooperation from both sides. What are the prospects for cooperation?
Vladimir Putin: (33:52)
Well that doesn’t depend on us, but rather on the US side. We did not impose any restrictions. I believe that, after imposing certain restrictions in economy, the US lost as much as Russia. Indeed, it somehow affected our development to a certain extent, and to a certain extent the US implemented their goal of deterring Russia and its development, but there’s nothing quite important here.
Vladimir Putin: (34:24)
Second thing. The interests of the US business community. The US had the biggest delegation at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, 200 persons. As for restrictions against the US companies, some US companies lost in Russia and they gave this business to their rivals. What for? It’s pointless, but they still have losses. Our trade with the US amounted to some 28 billion USD but in the first quarter of this year it grew by 16%. I believe that if this trend persists it will benefit everybody. And we talked about this.
Vladimir Putin: (35:18)
You know what? I’ll have a couple of questions from this side, and a couple of questions on the other side.
Vladimir Putin: (35:28)
Yeah. A lady. Please give the floor to the lady. She will rock my world here.
Ann Simmons: (35:35)
Ann Simmons, Wall Street Journal. [foreign language 00:35:39]
Ann Simmons: (35:39)
A couple of years ago, you met President Biden when he was Vice President and he said that he looked into your eyes and he didn’t see a soul there. And you said, “Well, that means that we understand each other.” Did you look into his eyes, and what did you see here? Did you see a person that you can work with? And please tell me, has President Biden invited you to the White House? If that is the case, did you agree to go there?
Vladimir Putin: (36:24)
Well, President Biden did not invite me and I haven’t made the relevant invitation myself. I believe that for such meetings and for such visits to happen, there should be conditions that should be ripe. As for looking into the eyes and seeing a soul, or not seeing anything, it’s not the first time that I hear that. To be honest, I don’t remember such conversation, but I assume that it could have happened. If you ask me what kind of a person and interlocutor President Biden is, I can say that he is a constructive person, well-balanced and experienced seasoned politician and I expected that. He recalled his family and conversations he had with his mother. Well, these things don’t have directly something to do with our business, but nonetheless, it shows his qualities and his moral values. It is all appealing, and I believe that we spoke the same language.
Vladimir Putin: (37:49)
It doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to look into the eyes and see the soul, and to pledge eternal love. We defend the national interests of our countries. And these relationships are always based on pragmatism. Andrei, please. You have the floor.
Andrei Kolesnikov: (38:09)
Andrei Kolesnikov of Kommersant Newspaper. Mr. President. Following this meeting, did you have any new illusions?
Vladimir Putin: (38:24)
Well, I didn’t have any old illusions, let alone new ones. There have been no illusions whatsoever.
Vladimir Putin: (38:34)
Let’s move to this side. At the back of the hole. Please give the mic and the lady will decide for herself.
Speaker 6: (38:46)
Good day. [inaudible 00:38:47] Mr. President, I have two questions if I may. Regarding global climate change, have you discussed this with President Biden? And the second question regarding American media outlets. Recently you gave a big interview to the embassy channel. Is it fair that you gave an interview to American media outlets, whereas American Presidents do not give any interviews to our media outlets? And do see a positive impact of this interview if your words are always distorted, and if you are treated not in a very respectable way?
Vladimir Putin: (39:26)
Well, with regard to distortions and some misinterpretations. That is the practice of international relations here, and there is nothing to do about it here. I got accustomed to this. We’ve been living with it for decades. As for the interviews, and who gives these interviews, that’s up to the leaders to decide. If he wants to send a message to the people, we try to do that and that’s exactly the essence of my interviews to the American media outlets.
Vladimir Putin: (40:14)
As for the activities of our media outlets. For instance, President Biden raised an issue on the work of Radio Freedom Europe that we declared as foreign agents. Well, I got an impression that members of the US delegation were not aware of that before that. We actually have two media outlets that are broadcasting for a foreign audience. That’s RT and Sputnik. And before that, the US declared them as foreign agents and they deprived them of their accreditation. So what we did was retaliation. At the same time, Russia Today abides by all requirements of the US regulator. It is registered in this way, although they face some problems with regards to hiring of personnel and financial transactions. But they don’t have such problems. But the US media outlets do not abide by the Russian law. We spread the word on our opinion, and we hope that we’ll be able to work at the level of foreign ministries in this matter.
Vladimir Putin: (41:43)
Well, I actually wanted a lady to ask a question.
Galina Palovka: (41:47)
Thanks a lot. Galina Palovka-
Vladimir Putin: (41:51)
Could you please speak up?
Galina Palovka: (41:53)
Galina Palovka, [inaudible 00:41:53] News. We all knew how you shook hands with Joe Biden at the very beginning. Have you managed to reach a new level of mutual understanding? And-
Speaker 7: (42:02)
To reach a new level of mutual understanding and confidence, do you believe it is realistic at this stage to reach a new level of relationship that would be totally clear and transparent?
Vladimir Putin: (42:16)
That is the ultimate goal of two countries. Lev Tolstoy once said, “there is no happiness in life, just a glimpse of happiness and do cherish it.” I believe there will be no confidence and ultimate confidence, but I think that we seen some glimpse of this confidence.
Yes please, you have the mic but you want the second one.
Ivan Blagoi, first channel. Covid-19 is one of the key subjects here, have to brought it up during your meeting with the US President, and if that is the case, what are the prospects of joint work with the US colleagues to overcome the pandemic, maybe we could talk about mutual recognition of vaccines.
Vladimir Putin: (43:07)
Well, we brought this up but just briefly, in passing, you know that the previous US administration we accommodated the US request and we sent our equipment as part of the humanitarian assistance. It’s not that they ran out of money, it’s just that at that point in time they were in dire need of ventilators. We have done it selflessly and we are ready to such kind of cooperation, but we haven’t discussed this in detail.
Vladimir Putin: (43:46)
After the meeting with President Trump, relationship has deteriorated between our two countries, are there any factors that would tell that this would not be the cause today. Have relationship reached rock bottom?
Vladimir Putin: (44:06)
Well, I can say, all the actions related to the deterioration of Russia-US relations were initiated by the US, not Russia. Congressmen are quite inventive, and I do not know what they will invent further on.
Do you know that our team has won against the Finish team 1-0? Congratulations. If we take the same assessment, same scale to the Putin-Biden meeting, what’s the score, who won? Okay, in the second part of the question, before coming to Geneva, Americans were saying, “we can exert pressure on Putin”. How you felt this pressure, and how have you stood up to it? The entire Russia is thinking, “how is our President doing up there?” I think it’s plenty.
Vladimir Putin: (45:14)
Yeah I think so too, more than enough.no pressure at all. It was a frank and candid conversation without going on a tangent from the set agenda. Like I said, neither us, nor the United States have tried to exert any pressure, but this was not the point of the meeting. The score, well I think before we met President Biden that this is not a competition event, and I think dovetail with him. Are we going to set the score? This was a productive meeting, it was fruitful, it was to the point, and it took place in an atmosphere that was actually enabling. Enabling to accomplish something. The most important thing is the glimpses of confidence and hope that we had.
BBC news please.
Stephen Rosenberg: (46:30)
Mr. President, Joe Biden calls for a stable and predictable relationship with Russia, however, the west believes that unpredictability is a trait of the Russian policy. Are you ready to forego instability to improve the relationship with the west?
Vladimir Putin: (46:56)
It was difficult to follow the logic, I’m really envious. It’s like a contradiction of terms, you said the west believes, and the second part, are you ready to forego this? Well if the west believes this then it doesn’t mean that this is the objective truth. Let me address your question in parts to dissect it. You said that the west believes that Russian policy is unpredictable, well let me reciprocate the US withdrawal from the ADM Treaty in 2002 was unpredictable. Why would they do that and undermine the basis of the strategic stability.
Vladimir Putin: (47:43)
The [inaudible 00:47:44] treaty withdrawal in 2019, is that what you call stability? The Open Skies Agreement withdrawal, is that what you call stability? There is almost no legs to stand upon, well thankfully the star treaty was saved, I’m grateful that President Biden has made a wise decision to extend the new start treaty for five years. Now take the situation in and around Ukraine, the Crimea, this was where it all started, right? Let me [inaudible 00:48:22] the question, what was stable about supporting a coup de’etat, an uprising in Ukraine? The present Yanokovich was ready to announce new elections and agree with all the demands. No, no, it wouldn’t work, you would have to go with the coup, the ramifications that followed, the Crimea, the eastern Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin: (48:46)
You are saying that we are seeking instability? Well I don’t think so. In my mind, we see differently, we don’t think in these terms, we think we are trying to create stability, but for the situation to be stable we need, and agreed, set the rules of contact across all areas. The strategic stability, the cyber security, the regional conflicts. I think that we can agree on these things, and I have an impression that we can agree.
Let’s wrap it up. I’m sorry, can’t hear, speak in the mic, please.
Vladimir Putin: (49:34)
What blue fog, popular tunes, lets speak something intelligible and reasonable. Bloomberg please, and we will wrap it up then. Final question to the lady.
Bloomberg News, Iliya Arkeavev. In 2016 after you meet Trump a new set of American sanctions was quickly imposed. What about this round of negotiations? Have you got any assurances that there will be no new sanctions in this new term coming from the united states. Then you said about the glimpses of hope, do you have any ideas on how visible is it that President Biden will follow through on the promises. It is believed that the American political apparatus is showing more solidarity with President Biden than it showed during President Trump’s presidency. You’ve agreed on consultations on cyber security, on Ukraine, do you think there will be any working groups, any red lines will be respected? Can you describe something?
Vladimir Putin: (51:11)
I think I’ve spoken about the red lines at length. You see the understanding and confidence on this it stems from negotiations. There is no reason to meet each other, to threat, to exchange verbal attacks, that’s not the point. The restrictions, the sanctions, I brought up already, we don’t know what’s brewing in the American political apparatus, we know the broad strokes, the currents, but we don’t know the details. There are probably opponents and proponents of developing better relationships with Russia. Who will prevail? It’s difficult to say. Hopefully, steps with betaken after this summit, well one might think so, but it would only mean a missed opportunity if it happens.
And the final question, to a journalist from Canada.
Radio Canada: (52:07)
Mr. President thank you for the opportunity. I’m from Tamara Alteresko from Radio Canada. You said to a couple of my colleagues, you wanted unbiased… you have a translation?
Radio Canada: (52:24)
Do you hear me now?
Start at the beginning.
Radio Canada: (52:24)
Pa russky? I will try and compete. I’m Tamara Alteresko from Radio Canada in Moscow. You said to a couple of my colleagues you wanted unbiased fair questions and coverage. I have a fair question for you, it actually comes from my nine year old daughter, who asked before I left to come here, but what is the big deal with this summit? And it’s quite a complicated answer for a nine year old, so I’d like you to explain to us in your own words, Mr. President, why is this relationship so complicated? Also, she’d like to know, and I’d like to know, why are young people not allowed to protest in Russia?
Vladimir Putin: (53:46)
Well, it’s a great thing that your nine year old is actually interested in these things. The answer is pretty simple, you’ve got to look around and think to yourself it’s a wonderful world. The grown ups, the adults, leaders of two major countries, two major nuclear power countries are meeting, trying to make this world a safer place, a secure place, a prospering place to live for many people from across the globe. They will discuss stuff about the horrible weapons that can kill us all, that has to be somehow prevented. They will discussed nature, how to make rivers clean, how to make seas clean, how to stop floods and droughts. How to make sure everybody has plenty of food to eat for anyone on the globe. What else will they discussed? They will discuss health and medicine, so that when kids grow up they will be healthy, they can study and have a bright future, and I wish very much. The meeting will be covered with these ideas in mind.