Vladimir Putin: Dear Ms Rice, distinguished colleagues,
I am very happy to see you in the Kremlin. I am very pleased to see you in your new capacity as Secretary of State. This is particularly pleasing for us, because we have developed business contacts with you over the last four years. You played a direct role in ensuring that relations between Russia and the United States reached the high level where they are today.
And we hope very much that both sides, including the United States, will continue this course. My last meeting with the President of the United States, which recently took place in Europe, served as confirmation of this. We not only exchanged opinions about a series of important issues in bilateral and international relations, but also signed highly significant documents for the USA and the Russian Federation. And, of course, we are anticipating the arrival of the President of the United States at the celebrations marking the end of World War II and Victory in the Great Patriotic War on May 9 this year.
Condoleezza Rice: Thank you very much Mr President and thank you for taking the time to receive me. This is my first time in the Kremlin since becoming Secretary of State. I bring greetings from the President who looks very much forward to his meetings with you on the markings of May 9 celebration.
Sergey Lavrov and I have had very fruitful discussions about a number of concrete matters, in particular about how to make progress along the checklist before your meeting with the President.
And so I look forward to our discussion today on various issues that are of interest to us, our common interests in regional stability, our common interests in the global war on terrorism, in economic development in the world. And so I very much look forward to those discussions.