President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I hear Mr Medvedev intends to move on to the International Federation. Is that what it is called – the International Federation?
Alexander Medvedev: Yes, the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Vladimir Putin: Together with Mr Fasel.
I would like to begin our conversation with a few words about what you have already done for sports, rather than what you intend to do. I would like to note that it was you who was the talented, efficient person who successfully launched the Kontinental Hockey League, which more and more clubs are joining, and not only those in Russia, but in other countries as well. In my view, this is a very successful and promising project.
In this connection I would like to thank you for what you have done and to express hope that you will not stray too far away from your creation – and I am sure you will not, you will continue following the work of the Kontinental League, only this time from an international perspective. Nevertheless, this is your creation to a large degree and you will not be able to leave it.
(Addressing Dmitry Chernyshenko) I would also like to wish you success and express hope that you will use the knowledge and expertise you have gained during preparations for the Sochi Olympics for the further development of ice hockey.
Primarily I am referring to this country, but it applies to international games as well, bearing in mind that the Kontinental Hockey League is entering the international arena.
Dmitry Chernyshenko: Thank you, Mr President, for you trust.
I am certain that the experience gained on the Olympic project – both in organisation and marketing, which is no less important – will serve to promote the League, because a strong League means a strong national team.
Vladimir Putin: Right.
Mr Medvedev, how do you see the prospects for our national team? You have sufficient knowledge of ice hockey.
Alexander Medvedev: Since the creation of the Kontinental Hockey League in 2008, the Russian national team won four world championships and once came in second.
Thank you very much for your high assessment of my work, but primarily this was your creation, because without your assistance the Kontinental Hockey League would never have been possible.
Dozens and hundreds of people took part in this work, most importantly – our fans, who are an integral part of the Kontinental Hockey League. Hockey is pointless without fans.
Vladimir Putin: True, I did come up with the idea, but I asked you to work on it and you did it all with your own hands. It is also true that since the creation of the KHL the quality of ice hockey in Russia has improved, we have practically restored it to its former height.
Alexander Medvedev: No wonder 10 million households have subscribed to the KHL TV and KHL TV HD channels.
Vladimir Putin: Is it 10 million already?
Alexander Medvedev: Yes. This means that about 30 million people regularly watch hockey on this channel, and then there is Rossia-2, which unfortunately continues showing detective films in addition to sports programs.
Vladimir Putin: You and I will have a game of hockey today.
Alexander Medvedev: I hope so.
Vladimir Putin: We will.