President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Parfenchikov, you hail from Karelia, don’t you?
Artur Parfenchikov: From deep in Karelia.
Vladimir Putin: What do you mean by that?
Artur Parfenchikov: I come from the countryside, from a small village.
Vladimir Putin: What is it called?
Artur Parfenchikov: Kurkiyoki.
Vladimir Putin: But you graduated from St Petersburg University [Leningrad State University], didn’t you?
Artur Parfenchikov: Yes, I did.
Vladimir Putin: And then you pursued your career for the most part in Karelia, went on to become Prosecutor of Petrozavodsk, and for the last ten years you have been working in federal agencies.
Artur Parfenchikov: Yes, this is correct.
Vladimir Putin: What is your assessment of the situation in Karelia?
Artur Parfenchikov: Over these last ten years, I have not spent much time there, of course, but I certainly followed the situation there, and I think that there are problems today, complicated social issues that need addressing, but these problems are resolvable.
First, of course, we need to take a closer look at our resources and capabilities, but if the decision is made, we rely on federal support, of course, and on the attention you give to the republic’s development.
Vladimir Putin: I would like to offer you the post of Acting Head of the Republic. Do you have the inner desire to do all you can for your native place?
Artur Parfenchikov: It is a great responsibility to return home and work there. Many of the problems are clear, and I can probably count on some support, it is a small republic, and I can hope to be accepted by the local people; but it is also a great responsibility, of course, this need to earn the trust of my fellow Karelia residents.
Vladimir Putin: Good. I wish you success, and I will help you, of course.