Beginning of the Meeting with CEO of Citygroup Sanford Weill 2005-02-11 22:29:53 The Kremlin, Moscow President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Chief Executive, dear Stanley, I am very happy to welcome you to Moscow. It is very pleasing to see my long-standing friend, Stanley Fisher. We agreed on this meeting after you left your high-ranking position in the IMF. And it is very pleasing for me to see you in this quality in Moscow. The Citygroup network is one of the leading financial groups in the world. And here in Russia, I believe, your business is developing quite actively. According to the information I have, about 800 Russian companies are your clients, as are several thousand individuals. And, as far as I know, there are plans for development. The development figures for the Russian economy show that the plans for expansion of activity fully meet the realities. The U.S. is one of our priority economic partners. And, unfortunately, a great deal has yet to be done, especially in the sphere of investment activity. And in this sense, the involvement of such solid finance institutions such as Citygroup would be very helpful. So we are very happy to see you. Welcome! Sanford Weill: Thank you, Mr President. We’re thrilled to be here as a very good friend of Russia. And our company is growing very fast in this country. We expect by the end of this year to have over three hundred thousand consumer accounts in Russia. As well as growing our corporate business. So it’s a very important location for us. And we look forward to expanding what we do here in the area of technology and how we can be helpful to the country in its attracting foreign direct investment. And we’d love to have you as a credit card customer of ours. Vladimir Putin: Thank you. I continue to keep my money in, or rather have my salary paid into, the Savings Bank of the Russian Federation, but I will consider your proposal. I will have to calculate the interest. You probably pay a lower interest rate.