After talks with Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, Vladimir Putin visited the headquarters of the International Judo Federation in Budapest. In 2008, the President of Russia received the title of the International Judo Federation’s honorary President.
The Russian leader toured the current premises of the Federation. Earlier, its governing bodies were based in Brussels and Lausanne. After that, Vladimir Putin, President of the International Judo Federation Marius Vizer and the Federation’s honorary Vice-President Sandor Csanyi had an informal conversation over tea.
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President of the International Judo Federation Marius Vizer (retranslated): It is a great honour for us: for the first time, it so happens that the honorary President, honorary Vice-President and I, the current President [of the International Judo Federation] have gathered in one place.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I would like to thank you for the invitation. I believe thanks to the government of Hungary and the city administration in Budapest the International Federation headquarters are in a great location. And I would like to note the many positive changes that have occurred in judo since 2008 when you became the IJF President.
This has led to a change in the rules and made judo a more dynamic sport, more entertaining to watch. You have introduced the practice of holding international competitions at various levels; you have motivated the athletes, including through financial incentives, and have done a lot to promote this wonderful sport around the world.
Judo is now practiced on almost all continents. Although the Federation was primarily created as a European organisation – plus, I think, Argentina was among its initial members – now the International Judo Federation is present on almost all continents.
You should be definitely credited for this. I would like to thank you on behalf of all the fans of this sport and I hope that the same policy for the development of judo will continue in the future.
Marius Vizer: Thank you very much for honouring me, Mr President. It has been teamwork that has brought about the achievements. It is my honour to be part of this team.
Two personalities have played a very important role in this team, I should say. We have the honorary President who gives inspiration to me and to all judokas around the world, who has been the main sponsor first of the European Judo Union, and now of the International Judo Federation, for 19 years since 2000, and has been providing crucial support.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you both. Thank you for your respect and support.
As soon as next year, the next Olympics will be held. So I would like to wish all Russian athletes success and to wish the Russian President all the very best.
I really do hope that judo will continue to develop at the current pace. We have launched a number of major projects in education, including the International Judo Academy, the Judo in Schools project, Judo for Refugees, and Judo for Peace.
We are working together with a number of sports federations, such as FIFA for example, where Mr Csanyi is Vice President. Mr Csanyi is also Vice President of the UEFA Executive Committee.
Honorary Vice President of the International Judo Federation Sandor Csanyi (retranslated): Since you mention football, I would like to congratulate Mr President on the successful organisation of last year’s championship. I spent a lot of time in Russia, so it was my personal experience.
There have been a lot of concerns, including administrative ones, the entry-exit procedures, logistics within the cities, various modes of access, security issues. I have to point out that it was far from easy, but it was perhaps the best world championship that I can remember.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
Sandor Csanyi: As an investor in the Russian economy through OTP Bank, I would like to note the very high quality of the business climate and unhindered, barrier-free interaction with all authorities, including supervisory bodies. Admittedly, this could be partly due to the fact that we comply with all the rules and laws.
Vladimir Putin: This is an important point. We have been working on this track consistently, and have recently risen a few more steps in the World Bank Doing Business ranking: Russia climbed to 28th place. But this is not the limit. We will continue to work on all tracks.