Vladimir Putin: We are sorry that we could not meet last time as planned. I hope that you are well and that our meeting today and your visit to Russia will be fruitful.
We have been working with the Bank since 1992. During this period we have had many mutual transactions. The World Bank granted Russia about 50 loans worth a total of $12 billion. We are to pay back one part, $1.2 billion, I think, this year and $2.2 billion next year. This is all in our plans, and we intend to meet all our obligations.
Mr President, I would like to thank you and your colleagues for the fact that the World Bank has adopted a new strategy with regard to the Russian Federation for 2003–2005. For our part we also adopted a programme of interaction with the Bank. And we note that our relations with the Bank are shaping up in the best possible way. The areas we are choosing are extremely important for us. They are the fight against AIDS and tuberculosis, advisory work with the Bank and joint work on the future world financial architecture – all that is very important for us. In connection with this, I would like to say that in the opinion of the Russian leadership, the role of the World Bank in stabilising the world economy and creating financial stability is important today and must be exercised in the future.