17 january 2009

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with the leadership of the German Council for the Promotion of the Federal Child Haematology, Oncology and Immunology Centre


Transcript of the start of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

We had planned to meet in Moscow at the end of December. As I know, some of you in this audience even sacrificed your Christmas holidays. I am sorry the meeting did not take place. However, this setback has not diminished our gratitude to and respect for our German partners who do so much to support their Russian colleagues and - what matters most - children in need of such support. On the contrary, our gratitude and respect have grown.

Such work as yours deserves special attention and gratitude. Profoundly humane, your work aims to relieve suffering, in particular, the suffering of children and young people, who need expert help. This help was especially important and timely in the mid-1990s, when Russia had economic and other problems.

Now, as you know, we are building Europe's largest medical centre for children with leukemia and blood cancers. We invested more than 40 million Euros in this project last year. This and next year will also see complete budget funding despite the financial crisis. Importantly, your help is welcome here, too. I know that special agencies have been established to train our personnel. I think the time will come when our partnership will really become fully bilateral cooperation because the project also envisages the largest European research centre.

I don't need to tell you about this project - you took part in the initial stages of its planning, too - so I want to thank you once again. You will help save human lives because the recovery rate will reach not 40-50% but 85-90% when the centre opens, according to expert forecasts, and you know it better than many. With consideration for joint research, the efforts will concern both German and Russian patients. I will be glad to hear what you think the Government should do in support of our joint cause.