Meeting with Valentina Tereshkova

Vladimir Putin met with pilot cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. The President in person congratulated her on the remarkable date – the 55th anniversary of her single-person flight around the Earth aboard the Vostok-6 spaceship, which began on June 16, 1963, and lasted almost three days.

Valentina Tereshkova is the world’s first female cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviet Union, pilot cosmonaut, the only woman to make a solo space flight. Today Valentina Tereshkova is a State Duma deputy, Deputy Chairperson of the State Duma Committee on Federative Structure and Local Government.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ms Tereshkova, please accept my sincere congratulations on this anniversary – 55 years of your space flight.

Valentina Tereshkova: Thank you very much. It is unbelievable how much time has elapsed!

Vladimir Putin: I would like to say in this regard that you are not only the world’s first female cosmonaut, I think you remain the only female cosmonaut and astronaut who has made a solo flight: all the other women were crewmembers.

Valentina Tereshkova: Could I also be a crewmember so as to explore all the possibilities?

Vladimir Putin: Would you like to make another flight? (Laughter).

Valentina Tereshkova: We were at the cosmodrome, Mr President, to see a crew off.

Vladimir Putin: I saw it.

Valentina Tereshkova: Good boys, well trained. Our Governor [Dmitry Mironov, Governor of Yaroslavl Region, where Valentina Tereshkova comes from] was greatly impressed both by the space centre and the launch.

Vladimir Putin: Ms Tereshkova, we all know you and love you very much. But not everyone is aware that your flight did not go all that smoothly. As far as I know, there were failures in the control system, and you had to orient the spaceship manually, didn’t you?

Valentina Tereshkova: There was a failure. I think it was caused by a mistake. The braking engine was programmed to raise the orbit, not to descend, not to push the spaceship down. I noticed it during the first rounds around the planet and reported to Earth.

Sergei Korolev [Chief Designer of the USSR space industry] had Yevgeny Shabarov [Deputy Chief Designer] deal with that, Mr Korolev sent him off from the cosmodrome on foot.

No, he was a very smart, good engineer. I made some adjustments, put in the data the control centre gave me. I put in the data and everything was in order. I reported it, and the rest of the flight went fine. So, Mr President, when we showed you the film The Spacewalker – of course, no flight went without setbacks, there were always some problems.

Vladimir Putin: The flight went fine but the landing was also not easy.

Valentina Tereshkova: The landing… It was Altai Territory and the dried shore of Lake Kulundinskoye. The wind was strong, so it really hit hard.

Mr President, I am sorry, you have been tortured with questions. Meanwhile, in one of our conversations, we raised this issue and I know that you have signed an important document.

I would like to bring up the Volga again – it has algal bloom. And this is a great Russian river, I so badly want it to remain the Mother Volga, the river that nourishes us. It is painful to look at it during algal bloom.

Can I ask you to take it under your control? Because if you do not, it can take a long time.

Vladimir Putin: We now have a programme on the Volga River, so we will pursue it.

Valentina Tereshkova: Dmitry Medvedev said the funds had been allocated but they are in custody of Anton Siluanov [First Deputy Prime Minister – Finance Minister].

Vladimir Putin: No, they have been allocated by the Government. It does not matter where the funds are, they are available and are earmarked for these purposes. We have a programme, and we will be pursuing it.

Valentina Tereshkova: We also have problems at the Mendeleyev oil refinery. It is upstream of the town of Tutayev. It produces top aircraft oils. We have a lot of nature but we are rather careless about it.

It has already reached the Volga, but so far, it is not in the water but in the soil. They are now puncturing the soil to see the depth to which those green oils are deposited. It is certainly a great threat to the Volga; this is why we raise this question.

Vladimir Putin: I will look into it, Ms Tereshkova.

Valentina Tereshkova: Please do.

And may I also ask you to take care of yourself? We all worry about you. How can we, people from Yaroslavl, help you?

Vladimir Putin: You are already doing it – the Governor is doing a great job.

Valentina Tereshkova: Thank you for the Governor, we are pleased with him. People like him, and of course, much has been done.

Vladimir Putin: He is an honourable and hard-working person, and a talented one to a degree.

Valentina Tereshkova: Can we keep him for a while?

Vladimir Putin: He started just recently, so let him work.


Meeting with permanent members of Security Council

Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council.

The head of state informed meeting participants about the June 9–10 summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in China and his contacts with foreign leaders on the sidelines of this forum.

Continuation of the OPEC+ deal in the context of the President’s recent meeting with Crown Prince and Defence Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud was addressed as a separate issue.

In addition, the participants discussed pressing domestic socio-economic issues.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, Minister of the Interior Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin and Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergei Ivanov.

Gala concert of world opera stars

Vladimir Putin attended a gala concert of world opera stars timed to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The musical celebration held on Red Square featured the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra led by Valery Gergiev, world famous singers Anna Netrebko, Yusif Eyvazov, Ildar Abdrazakov, Aida Garifullina, Albina Shagimuratova and special guests – singers Placido Domingo and Juan Diego Florez.

The initiator and artistic director of the concert, as well as its host was pianist Denis Matsuyev; top Russian model, founder of the Naked Heart Foundation, Natalia Vodianova was the co-host. The programme included Russian music and famous pieces from the West European classical repertoire: arias from the operas of Donizetti, Bizet, Verdi and Puccini.


2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony

Vladimir Putin took part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony at Luzhniki Stadium.

The ceremony was also attended by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, heads of state and government of Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Moldova, Panama, Paraguay, Rwanda, South Ossetia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK Kim Yong-nam.

The opening match of the World Cup between the national teams of Russia and Saudi Arabia ended in a 5–0 win for Russia.

During half-time, the President of Russia chatted with Vice Premier of the State Council of China Sun Chunlan, President of Moldova Igor Dodon and former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy, among others.

Earlier today and the day before, Vladimir Putin held bilateral meetings with the leaders of a number of countries who arrived for the opening of the World Cup.

* * *

Speech at 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,

I welcome all guests to the legendary Moscow stadium Luzhniki, everyone gathered in the numerous fan zones of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and those watching us on television or online.

I congratulate you – the entire large, multinational, tightly-knit international football family – on the start of the top tournament on the planet!

This major sporting event is being held in Russia for the first time, and we are sincerely happy about it. In our country, football is not just the most popular sport. People genuinely love football. And it was love at first sight, from the first official match that took place in Russia in 1897.

We prepared responsibly for this major event and did our best so that fans, athletes and specialists could immerse themselves in the atmosphere of this magnificent football festival and, of course, enjoy their stay in Russia – open, hospitable, friendly Russia – and find new friends here, new like-minded people.

Consider this: without exaggeration, there are billions of people on the planet who are devoted football fans. And wherever we live, no matter our traditions, we all are united as one team by our love for this spectacular, dazzling, uncompromising game. And so all the members of this team understand each other well, they have a good sense of each other.

It is in this unity, which bends neither to differences in language, nor in ideology, nor in faith, that the great power of football, of sport in general, the power of its humanistic principles, lies.

Our task is to preserve this power, this unity for future generations, for the sake of developing sport and strengthening peace and mutual understanding among peoples.

I wish success to all the teams, and unforgettable impressions to fans.

Welcome to Russia!

FIFA President Gianni Infantino (In Russian.): Dear friends,

Welcome to the World Cup!

(In English.) Dear friends,

Welcome to the FIFA World Cup here in Russia!

As of today, for one month, football will conquer Russia. And from Russia, football will conquer the entire world. Enjoy the biggest celebration on earth! Thank you, President Putin! Thank you, Moscow!

(In Russian.) Thank you, Russia!

Meeting of the 68th FIFA Congress

Vladimir Putin attended the 68th Congress of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), which opened at Moscow’s Expocentre ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

* * *

Speech at the 68th FIFA Congress

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Infantino, members of the FIFA Council, heads of the world’s football associations, ladies and gentlemen,

The countdown for a glorious football event, which all fans are looking forward to, has begun. This moment brings to mind the beginning of a long, complicated and highly responsible path to the FIFA championships, which we have covered together as one big team.

The host country is not the only one responsible for preparing this large-scale sports festival. This goal would not have been attained without the contribution made by a huge number of specialists and enthusiasts of the global football family. This close group has a wonderful tradition, which is to gather before the tournament in the city where the opening match will be held.

It is a wonderful opportunity for Russia as the host country to express our gratitude to all of you and to your colleagues for the support you have provided in word as well as in deed over a period of the past seven years, during which Russia was preparing for this, one of the most popular and important sports events in the world.

We worked together to hold the main football event at the top level and to make it an unforgettable moment in the life of everyone who participates in it, whether as football players, devoted fans or as the television audience.

Special thanks go to Mr Gianni Infantino for his commitment to the ideals of sports and justice, as well as for his invariably positive attitude to our country. We know that Mr Infantino took over the helm at FIFA at a difficult time, but he has been steering the course firmly as a true captain.

The FIFA World Cup is very important for our country. Many generations of football fans dreamed to bring together the world’s best teams. Tomorrow, their dream will come true.

There are 12 first-class stadiums and modern infrastructure. But what is most important is that a huge number of devoted football fans from all over the world will come to Russia and share the joy of being involved in this exciting and vibrant sports event.

The 68th FIFA Congress has brought together in Moscow the delegates of all 211 national football associations and six continental confederations. The whole football world. I would like to emphasise the adherence of the International Football Federation to the principle “sports and politics do not mix.”

Russia has always adhered to this principle and strives to closely communicate with everyone who intends to develop and strengthen the constructive nature of sports and its unlimited humanistic potential.

Such large international forums as the World Cup are not only about a spectacle and thrill, but are also a good opportunity for millions of people to learn about other countries and their traditions as well as to make new friends.

They can learn that in other countries there are also kind, enthusiastic and open minded people who want to live in peace, communicate, visit each other and watch and play football together.

Our country is ready to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup and to provide everyone visiting Russia with a comfortable environment and positive emotions.

Our goal is to make all guests – from football stars to football fans – feel our hospitality and friendliness, learn about our original, multinational culture and the unique Russian nature, and make them want to come back again.

Let me wish the delegates every success in their work. We are expecting all of you tomorrow at the opening match of the 21st FIFA World Cup.

We are sincerely happy to see all of you. Welcome to Russia!

(In English.) Welcome to Russia! Thank you very much for your attention.

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