President Vladimir Putin (on the results of the parliamentary election in Chechnya):
As you all know, an important political event has just taken place in the Republic of Chechnya: the republic has elected a legitimate representative body – the parliament. This marks the completion of the formal legal procedures to restore constitutional order in Chechnya.
At the same time, however, we are all well aware that there is still a great deal of work to do to eradicate all the conditions contributing to destabilisation. In order to do this we need to ensure the effective implementation of the Russian government and the Chechen authorities’ plans to bring about the recovery of social and economic life in the republic.
As for the Chechen people themselves and everyone who lives in the Republic of Chechnya, they have convincingly demonstrated once again their strength of character, political maturity and organisational ability and have shown that no one and nothing can frighten them. Voter turnout was more than 60 percent. The law enforcement agencies did their work without any problems whatsoever. I would like to thank everyone working in the law enforcement system for ensuring security during the election campaign and during the voting.
Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref (in response to a question from the President on cooperation with Germany): Yes, we are flying to Germany this evening, together with a Russian government and business delegation, to take part in the traditional Day of the Russian Economy that takes place once every two years in Frankfurt. A large group of businesspeople is going: Russian bankers, representatives of the machine-building industry, and a large number of German industrial enterprises will be taking part in this presentation, as well as new members of the German government, and this will be our first chance to get to know them and discuss our further joint plans.
Vladimir Putin: You probably know that I spoke with the new Chancellor, Ms Merkel, and we agreed on a number of joint steps to implement projects that had already been announced earlier. We will talk about this a little later.
(Addressing Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov) Sergei Viktorovich, on the international agenda we have a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) member countries. When is this meeting planned to take place?
Sergei Lavrov: The foreign ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation countries will hold their next meeting tomorrow. In accordance with the instructions given at the last CSTO summit, the meeting will examine the current military and political situation in the CSTO’s zone of responsibility in all its different aspects. Also on the agenda are concrete issues concerning the coordination of foreign policy activity and relations with the United Nations and with regional organisations. We will also discuss organising contacts with NATO in response to the CSTO’s initiative, above all in the context of the fight against the drugs threat coming from Afghanistan. Drugs trafficking from Afghanistan is also on the agenda.
The meeting will also approve the information and proposals that Russia will present on behalf of the CSTO as CSTO representative at the Russia-NATO Council meeting next week.