President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Bergh, members of the evaluation commission,
I would like to start by welcoming you to the Russian capital.
Today, as I recall, you are flying to Kazan [capital of Tatarstan] to evaluate the city’s potential as candidate to host the 2013 World University Summer Games. I sincerely hope that your work will be productive, substantial and successful. I will not take it upon myself to promote our city to you. I am sure that you will see and hear everything you need to know once you are there. I just want to make two points. First, the World University Games were last held in our country, or rather in its legal predecessor, 35 years ago. That is quite a while ago. Second, Kazan is a big and well developed Russian city that has already hosted three world championships and a large number of other major competitions over these last years. I think that Kazan today is ready to host sports competitions of any level. Of course, you will be assessing all of this during your visit of inspection. I hope that your time spent getting to know Kazan and the Russian Federation will be a success.
Vice President of the International University Sports Federation Stefan Bergh: I would like to thank you, Mr President, on behalf of my colleagues from the International University Sports Federation, and say that we are grateful to you for receiving us here today.
It is a great honour for me to be here. I cannot describe it in words, for I realise that you are a very busy person both here at home and on the international stage. You agreed to meet with us and this is a great honour for us. I want to say too that such a high-level reception is a good signal for us and for our colleagues on the executive committee. Support at the highest political level is very good for a candidate city’s chances. My colleagues and I are already well acquainted with Kazan’s representatives, with whom we have met on many occasions. As you know, Kazan already made one bid for the summer University Games. We have established close relations with the senior authorities in Kazan and Tatarstan and we know that they are doing everything they can to develop this region.