President Vladimir Putin: Alexander Grigoryevich [Lukashenko], it is a pleasure to see you here in Sochi.
I am happy that you have found the time to take a little break here. I am sure that as Sochi’s resorts develop and preparations for the Olympic Games continue, you and others from Belarus and the other CIS countries, and from Europe and the entire world, will come to Sochi more and more often. Our plans – the development plans we showed you – are truly a large-scale undertaking.
You and I have the chance now to make use of the time you will be spending here to discuss current matters too.
I am very happy to see you and I wish you welcome.
Alexander Lukashenko: Thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, for the invitation to visit the new sports facilities. Frankly speaking, I was very impressed by what I have seen over these three days.
Vladimir Putin: You liked what you saw?
Alexander Lukashenko: It all looks very impressive. I have not seen anything like it elsewhere in the world. But what struck me most of all was how clean and orderly, how well run and safe for the public everything is, and the very comfortable environment, so convenient for families and children. There were certainly a lot of people there. Thank you for this opportunity.
I had a meeting with the Prime Minister and the First Deputy Prime Minister today and we discussed this very issue of building facilities. We agreed that our plans should be coordinated with you and we will tell you now about the agreements we have reached. It looks as though Belarus should probably build some facility or other for the Olympics independently. There are more than seventy facilities, after all, enough for everyone, I think. What’s important is that all the facilities be original and of a high standard.
We have presented our ideas, our builders and materials. We would like to create a little corner of Belarus for the Olympics here in Russia. Our ideas have met with a lot of interest. We agreed that we will coordinate this matter with you, and if satisfactory arrangements for both sides can be made, then we will begin this project and take part in this construction work.
I think that the facility we built with your help could be expanded in the future. It is already working today, including for the Olympics. Officials stop over there, and this is important and useful for Russia. We are prepared to expand this facility, all the more so we now have the opportunity at hand.
Vladimir Putin: The weather was just what you hoped for?
Alexander Lukashenko: There was a good snowfall just before we arrived. The weather was really fantastic.
Vladimir Putin: That’s good to hear.