Question: Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich why don’t you come to Georgia, we are all waiting for you.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. Our foreign ministries will agree on a forthcoming visit.
Question: And when could we expect you?
Vladimir Putin: Here, Lavrov will tell you.
Sergei Lavrov: As soon as the ministries of foreign affairs agree.
Question: What about the conflicts you mentioned?
Vladimir Putin: It is a very complicated issue. Mikhail Nikolaevich and I did not create these conflicts. They are legacies from the past. And not even from the 1990s, from much earlier. If everything was in order then there would be no internal problem. However, the problem remains and is deeply ingrained. And it is not possible to resolve this problem with knives and razors; we need patience, the desire to find compromises and, first and foremost, this must come from the people themselves. And for this we have to develop a way of building bridges. Not between Russia and Georgia but between the people of, shall we say, South Ossetia and Georgia. This requires patience and a real commitment to these agreements. It is impossible to create solid, long-term relations on any other base.
Question: Bagapsh said that the Russia Federation supports them.
Vladimir Putin: You have to ask him about that. I am not Bagapsh.
Question: It is possible to say that you looked into each other’s eyes and understood …
Vladimir Putin: Understood what?
Question: Each other.
Vladimir Putin: Mikhail Nikolaevich is an interesting interlocutor and it is interesting to talk with him.
Question: Do you not think it is encouraging separatism when Kokoity and the president of Abkhazia are received in Russia as presidents?
Vladimir Putin: I don’t think so because Russia is one of the participants in the settlement process and how can we work towards a settlement if we can’t meet with the parties to the conflict?