Vladimir Putin: I will be very brief. I would like to thank our young colleague from Britain for raising the issue of companies’ social responsibility, especially that of big business. This is one of the issues I wanted to discuss with my colleagues, but we simply did not have time and I was unable to do so. Now she has raised this issue for me. I have almost nothing to add to what she said. The only thing I would like to draw to your attention is the fact that Russian companies are starting to work more and more on the world markets today.
As I told my colleagues, by 2006, Russian companies had invested around $140 billion around the world. This investment is already becoming noticeable. Russian companies are increasingly active abroad, including in Africa. Unfortunately, we also encounter tragedies in our work. Just recently, terrorists abducted six employees of a Russian aluminium company operating in Nigeria. We do not even know their demands yet, for they have not yet set them out. But these kinds of things happen, in part, because all companies, not just Russian companies, need to take a socially responsible approach in all the countries where they work. Such incidents would be less common if local people saw that companies are pursuing not just global aims but are also working to solve the specific problems facing people in this or that country.
Our companies are drawing up plans for specific work of this kind, and I am very pleased to see this. They are presenting their proposals to the Government, and we, for our part, will do everything we can to support them. I am very grateful just for the fact that has issue has been raised.