Question: Mr Putin, you have already described the results of your meeting today with the President of Georgia. Could you please tell us the results of the other meetings you had today – with Mr Lukashenko, Mr Kocharian and Mr Voronin?
Vladimir Putin: Mr Lukashenko and I have once again analysed our cooperation in the economic sphere and the implementation of our mutual agreements. We did some summarising and mapped out prospects. The implementation of the plan we have is subject to a certain timeline. As regards work in the political sphere, in the sphere of building the Union State, we agreed to expand the commission or task group that is drafting a union act. I am not yet ready to give names, although we discussed them as well, because we need to talk to people who we think should work in the group or change their capacity in the structure. We spoke about issues related to the economy and transport.
Question: Were you pleased with the meeting with Shevardnadze? Or could such a meeting have taken place, say, six months ago?
Vladimir Putin: Of course, it could have taken place both six months or a year ago. I am pleased with today’s meeting. I repeat I do not say this for effect: the discussion was really frank and held with open cards. Our position is absolutely transparent. It is most partner-like to Georgia and, as I said during the meeting, has never been directed against it. It was addressed at organising joint work and facing a common threat together. And that common threat is terrorism, militants and the drug trade. I feel gratified that we have a mutual understanding. At any rate, in the area on which we agreed, certain changes in the quality of our relations are emerging. I am afraid to rush things as of yet. Everything here will depend on how our agreements will pan out. Our experts will have something to work on. These are things one cannot pretend are being done but nothing happens.
Question: Was the issue of Russian bases raised?
Vladimir Putin: We did not discuss this subject, but our experts are working in that direction and the work is not stopping. It is not that special people will be sent to Georgia from Russia or to Russia from Georgia. It is that we have agreed on people who will coordinate all this work in Georgia and Russia. They are worthy people.
Question: Will you please describe your meeting with Mr Kocharian?
Vladimir Putin: As regards my meeting with the Armenian President, we discussed above all the coordination of our efforts in the economic sphere. There is certain progress here in the settlement of some questions on which we have worked in the past: obligations and property. The Armenian President himself said so. The work has taken a long time, but is practically finished. We hope that in the course of an upcoming visit to Armenia by the Prime Minister all the i's will be finally dotted.
We also discussed the Karabakh issue. The President informed me about his most recent meeting with the President of Azerbaijan. I invited the President of Armenia to pay a working visit to Russia in December or January.
Thank you very much.