President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: First of all, I want to congratulate you and the entire team at ITAR-TASS on this anniversary – more than a century that the agency has been working now. I hope that this occasion puts you and the whole team in good spirits. Your mission is very important for our country. You keep people informed of the news, and this is very important for everyone living in our big country.
As for the work accomplished, I am sure you will tell me now about the results achieved and about the difficulties you encounter in your development, for everyone has their problems.
In any event, I want to say that we are following the agency’s development very attentively. I wish you and your staff success. I hope that you will continue your modernisation efforts, change some aspects of your work that have become outdated now and introduce new practices, for life never stands still. I think that development is therefore the most apt key word to stress today.
Let’s discuss other matters too. Last time I saw you was on [comedy competition show] KVN. You came along not just to take part in the competition, but also because you head the Sochi Public Council. As I understand it, this is an important part of your life, and I would like to hear about the situation today, what has been done so far, and what plans you have now.
General director of ITAR-TASS Vitaly Ignatenko: Thank you very much for the message of congratulations you sent the team, Mr President. It was very warmly received. And thank you very much for your words of thanks to all of our staff. This means a lot for us in terms of reputation, means a lot for the whole team.
Dmitry Medvedev: And not just individual members?
Vitaly Ignatenko: We have always greatly valued the fact that we have a united team. We do not divide our team into journalists and other services. We are all working on a common undertaking, helping each other, and this is what made your words especially welcome and dear to us. Thank you very much.