Question: How do you assess today’s series of bilateral meetings with CIS Presidents?
Vladimir Putin: Positively. Today we had important meetings with the Presidents of Ukraine and Kazakhstan and we had a three-way meeting – the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and myself – on the problems of the Caspian. We keep all these issues under constant review. In the case of Ukraine it is above all economic relations, the traditional problems of energy, of financial relations and border delimitation where it has not yet been done. These are all important problems of immediate interest for the two states, large-scale interest. I have to say that I am pleased with these consultations. We have agreed to instruct the relevant government bodies, the economic units of the Government and other specialists to prepare a solution to some of these issues by the time of our next meeting, which will provisionally be held in Kiev to mark the tenth anniversary of Ukrainian independence. With Kazakhstan, too, it is mainly economic relations in a number of sectors, especially in the energy sphere. You know that a major regional project of the CPC to transport energy resources, oil from Kazakhstan to a Russian port has been practically completed. In short, we had things to discuss. The same can be said about relations with Azerbaijan. Of course, we discussed Nagorny Karabakh with the President of Azerbaijan as well as with the President of Armenia. I briefed them on our discussions of the issue with US President George Bush and President Jacques Chirac, because, as you know, they are participants in the settlement process. I am absolutely sure that all this will lead to progress, including on this very complicated problem. In any case we have managed to preserve the dialogue and maintain the level of trust in our approach even to this tricky problem. We shall see how the situation evolves.