* * *
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Governor, I am very pleased to see you once again. I remember my visit to California and was really very happy indeed with the reception you gave me there, and the busy and interesting programme that was organised. We agreed then that you would come to Moscow together with Californian business community representatives, and I am very pleased to see it happen. I hope you will get a chance to look around Moscow, as it’s been a long time since you were last here.
By the way, I want to congratulate you on the fact that California is now essentially recovering from the crisis and has passed its budget. I think you can count this as your victory.
We have a lot going on here at the moment. You happen to have arrived in Moscow at a moment when the city does not have a mayor. I know that your mandate is coming to an end soon. If you were a citizen of the Russian Federation you could work here. But whatever the event, we will discuss today Russian-American relations and the ties between Moscow and California.
Once again, I wish you welcome and hope that you will have a memorable stay here in Moscow.
GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: Thank you very much, and it is wonderful to be back again in Moscow, as I have told you. I have been here many times before. I have been here for many purposes. I have been here in vacation. I have been here filming a film Red Heat. I have been here for a restaurant opening. I have been here to visit my weight-lifting friends that were my heroes – the Russian weight-lifters. But I have never dreamt that one day I will come here as a Governor of the great state of California. And you were right that we just passed our budget, and it was a touch-and-go kind of a situation because if they would not have approved the budget that Friday morning, I could not have left on Saturday without a budget. So, I am very happy that the legislators, the Democrats and the Republicans, came together finally and passed that budget so I could come over here on this trade mission.
Dmitry Medvedev: This is the power of democracy.
Arnold SCHWARZENEGGER: That right, exactly.
But, you know, I am very happy that I am here because we were so delighted and felt so proud of ourselves in California when President Medvedev has decided to come to California first before to go to Washington and make this his first step in the United States. It was a great pleasure to be the host and to have long conversations about the economy and economic development in California and also in Russia.
And it was wonderful to see the President’s great enthusiasm about technology, high technology, green technology. And who with great enthusiasm visited all those campuses of various, different high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley.
And I really enjoyed to meet someone that is a visionary, someone that has a very clear vision of the direction Russia ought to go. And one of those visions was to build a Silicon Valley type of an area and campuses in Skolkovo. So, I offered of course right away that we will be helpful in any way possible as a state and also make those companies – the leaders of these companies, the CEOs, – get together with me and to come over here to Moscow on the trade mission. So, we were very happy to immediately after the President’s return to Moscow to get an invitation – an official invitation for me — and also for the entire trade delegation, for all those business leaders.
So, I said to him ‘I’ll be back!’ and here we are, we are back. And today we are going to see the area, in Skolkovo, visit the University in Skolkovo, and also have all of the business leaders in California, the high-tech leaders, meet their counterparts here, in Russia, in Moscow. And I know that Russian technology and the extraordinary mind of innovation and everything, together with the Californians, I think, we could really create a great miracle here, a great boom in that industry. So, I’m looking forward to spending the afternoon with you.
Dmitry Medvedev: We shall start immediately.