Opening Remarks at Meeting with Heads of International Sports Organisations 2009-10-23 19:34:00 Kazan President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, I am very glad that you have come to Kazan to participate in this forum [Russia – Country of Sports] and other events. For us this really is very important and extremely useful. I already know a number of people here: we’ve met at various competitions and been able to touch base. This proves that Russia is deeply involved in the problems of sport, engaged in the development of its own sports federations, and participates in the management of the world’s most important international sports federations. From what I’ve been told, Russian nationals head one international federation and three European federations. Since we saw each other at the forum’s opening ceremony, there has already been a session of the Presidential Sports Council [the Presidential Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport, Excellence in Sport, and the Organisation of the XXII Winter Olympics and the XI Winter Paralympics in Sochi in 2014], and over the last hour and a half we have discussed the development of sport in elementary and high schools in our country. I believe that organising such an event at the presidential level is the best guarantee for the development of sport in our country as a whole. In Russia, if someone at the very top gets involved in an issue then as a rule something comes of it. Maybe in fifty years we will no longer require this sort of presidential attention. But before we get to that stage, I hope that we will be able to meet each other on a regular basis. I hope that you also get a comprehensive view of how we go about our work and of how Russia’s regions and cities are changing before our eyes. At least insofar as Kazan is concerned in my view everyone must be aware of such a transformation. This is why our winning the rights to hold the World University Games in Kazan in 2013 was obviously no accident. I am sure that it will be a great success, especially if the respected leaders of the international federations here today lend us a bit of a helping hand. Our colleagues here have made some important interventions and a great deal of what they’ve said will be remembered. I was very pleased to hear what you had to say about Russia’s various sporting successes and the work that has gone into them. In turn, I would like to say to you that we are ready to cooperate at every level — at the level of the Government Cabinet, at the level of our sports organisations and associations, and at the level of the Olympic Committee — on all matters related to sport and to international relations in the field of sports. This applies to all sorts of issues, from those involving the development of modern technologies in sport to very sensitive but at the same time very important issues for everyone including the Russian Federation, such as anti-doping policy. Incidentally, in this regard we now have special procedures underway. The State Duma is preparing a bill that will provide a more coherent legal framework for the fight against doping. At the same time we need to rationalise international approaches to these matters and to do this I would like us to listen to each other more. I am sure that this will contribute to the impressiveness of our athletic achievements. Dear colleagues, I want to thank you again for coming to Russia to participate in our forum. I hope that you'll be regular guests at all similar events in our country, because there is no better place than encounters of this kind to discuss topical issues such as the development of sport in the world, the development of the Olympic movement or just touch base with friends. If you would like to take the floor now I would be very interested to hear what you have to say.