Russian President Vladimir Putin: Mr President, allow me to warmly welcome you to Moscow.
You know that we are paying serious attention to the development of relations with the Council of Europe and particularly with regards to our relations with the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). I would like to point out that in recent years, we have become convinced that we have established a good working dialogue. We follow your assessment of the events in Europe and Russia attentively. And, in general, we agree with your assessments. And I want to thank you for the assistance you provided during our chairmanship [of the Council of Europe] in 2006 and of the Committee of Ministers. I am very glad to see you in Moscow. Welcome, Mr President.
President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Rene Van Der Linden (as translated from the Russian version): Thank you very much, Mr President, I am deeply honoured to be here.
This is my last official visit as President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. It is a symbolic one and an unprecedented event. I invested a great deal of effort in developing our relations during my tenure.
During my work I made many new friends. I have an excellent working relationship with the State Duma, and not only with Mr Gryzlov, but also with other colleagues, as well as an excellent relationship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Around this table I see many familiar faces and great colleagues: Mr Kosachev, Mr Margelov. When I was elected to this post in 2005, Russia was one of my priorities. And there have been a lot of events in three years. We had a very frank and detailed conversation over a year ago. I am interested in the work done by the Duma, which is over one hundred years old. And [Partriarch of Moscow and all Russia] Aleksei II's visit to PACE was a truly historic moment.