For those of you who didn't see the Charlie Rose Show last week after Rose returned from the StPetersburg International Economic Forum, the following is submitted. Sharon
Guest Column by Vladimir Putin
Interview with the President of Russia and Other Parties at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
Charlie Rose: Mr President, I would like to begin by saying that it is a pleasure to be here in your home city, the place where you began your political career. This is also a historically important city – Russia was born here as an empire. This is a very important place.
There are some very serious issues that can be resolved only if Russia takes action, if you take part. We are talking about economic policy, foreign policy, Ukraine, the Baltic states, Europe, Syria, Iran, China, and Russia. There are very many questions, there are problems, and there are conflicts. Russia has to play its part in finding solutions to many problems. There is the issue of borders, the issue of Russia and Ukraine. Could you help us understand as you see it: where are we? How did we get there and where do we go from here?
Vladimir Putin: First, I would like to thank you for agreeing to work with us today and moderate this meeting. This forum is called the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. I would like us to focus on economic issues. However, I would agree with you that without resolving a number of acute critical situations it is hard to move along in the economic sphere.
We have discussed the developments in Ukraine on numerous occasions, and I understand that this is unavoidable. However, you know, we either keep talking about Ukraine all the time, or a few years ago we were talking about the crisis, say, in Iraq and some other countries. We keep talking about things that already happened, but we never discuss why they happened. And if you do want to talk about this and it does seem important, I would prefer to begin with precisely that.