President Vladimir Putin: Your Highness, please allow me to warmly welcome you, this time to Moscow.
I am very glad to have the opportunity to meet with you, now the ruling Prince of Monaco, in the Russian capital. I remember your previous visits linked with the International Olympic Committee and your subsequent visit to St Petersburg. And today I am happy to congratulate you on the successful completion of your expedition to the North Pole. Perhaps this is no special achievement for you – I know that you love sports and go in for sports – but you are the first head of state to reach the North Pole. From here we paid close attention to the expedition, an expedition that held special interest for us, both because Russia is largely a northern country and today heads the Arctic Council.
Recently we have had quite good relations with Monaco. We highly value Monaco's achievements, especially in the spheres of tourism and in finance, and we expect that our business communities will be able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by your legislation. But of course, in full compliance with Russian legislation, so we also are interested in developing contacts between law enforcement agencies.
We are very glad to see you. Welcome to Russia.
Prince Albert II: (translated from Russian): Dear Mr President, I am very glad that I could take advantage of your suggestion to travel to Russia and come here, to the Kremlin, right after the end of the unusual trip I made to the North Pole. Mr President, as you emphasized I have already visited your country and met with you on different occasions. I remember when we met in 2001 when I came to Russia for the regular session of the International Olympic Committee. Taking this opportunity, I would like to tell you some of the impressions the journey [to the North Pole] made on me. But before doing so I would like to tell you how happy I am, how thrilled I am and — I will repeat — more than just satisfied with the effectiveness of the Russian party's help in organizing this expedition. I know that you personally, Mr President, made an important contribution to organizing this expedition. And this assistance, this help was very much appreciated by all the members of my team that participated in the expedition. The help the Russian side gave us was excellent, and I would like to emphasize this again and again.
Vladimir Putin: I am very glad that everything ended well.
Prince Albert II: If it ended well, then it is because all of us worked hand in hand. And help was given by the Russian party, by other representatives from Monaco, and by the many other countries that took part in organizing this expedition. It was so kind of you, Mr President, to say complimentary words about my skills as a sportsman, but I shall allow myself to point out that you yourself are an excellent sportsman. And I can assure you that you could certainly have undertaken the expedition with us and that you would not have had any problems. But I would like to emphasize that it was very difficult and required a great deal of physical effort.
Vladimir Putin: I am confident that it was not for nothing that you ate spam up there, because the expedition has once again drawn the international community's attention to the environmental problems of the north. I know that a film will be made about this expedition and, undoubtedly, it will also play a positive role in helping protect the environment.