President Vladimir Putin: Mr Kissinger, first of all, I would like to say how happy we are to see you in Moscow. I am very pleased at the ongoing business and personal contacts we have with you. I am also very pleased to give my support to the Russian-American initiative to create a working group, Russia – USA: Looking to the Future, which will bring together some of our countries’ most well known and respected political and public figures. We are very happy that you will be heading the group for the U.S. side, while Mr Primakov will be heading the group for the Russian side. Welcome!
Henry Kissinger: Mr President, first of all I want to thank you for this opportunity to meet – this is always a great honour for me – and I would like to express my condolences to Russia for the great loss that your country has suffered.
I am pleased to have the opportunity to be here today, in particular, in order to discuss the creation of the group you mentioned. I discussed this matter with President Bush and Secretary of State Rice, and they support this proposal to create a bilateral U.S.-Russian group bringing together respected politicians and prominent figures from both sides to discuss future relations between our countries. Of course, it would be impossible to carry out all of this work within the framework of a single administration, and this is therefore a project for the long term. Together with my longstanding friend, Mr Primakov, I plan to discuss the various issues and draw up and action programme for this group, and by the end of June, beginning of July, we plan to hold the working group’s first meeting here.