President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Velikhov.
President of the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute Yevgeny Velikhov: Good afternoon, Mr President. I want to thank you very much for what is for me a historic moment and one-in-a-lifetime meeting.
Vladimir Putin: That’s not true, we meet more often than that.
Yevgeny Velikhov: Yes, but not directly like this. I am very happy to have this opportunity.
Vladimir Putin: So am I. I want to congratulate you on your birthday, this day of celebration for you.
You are a well-known and prominent scientist both here and among your colleagues abroad, and your achievements have earned recognition throughout the world. You were one of the heads of the Soviet Union’s nuclear programme and you took part in the clean-up efforts following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. You continue to this day your active work at our nuclear centre, the Kurchatov Institute.
I want to give you a gift of a personal kind. I know that you enjoyed horseback riding when you were young.
This will remind you of that for a start, and secondly, I want to say that the state decoration, the Order for Services to the Fatherland I degree will be presented at the Kremlin. Let me congratulate you.
Yevgeny Velikhov: Thank you very much.