#6 - JRL 7004
January 4, 2003
[translation from RIA Novosti for personal use only]
VLADIMIR PUTIN IN 2002 AND HIS AGENDA FOR 2003
By Vladislav VOROBYEV
570 meetings, more than a hundred telephone conversations with foreign leaders and almost fifty trips around Russia and abroad - such is a short account of the RF President's work in 2002.
Basically, all Saturdays were working days for the head of Russian state last year, and he had a little bit more than fifty days off, including vacations. Last year, Vladimir Putin met more often with the ministers than any other officials - 160 times. The absolute leader in that sense was Russian Premier Mikhail Kasyanov. They met "head-to-head" 38 times. Besides, the President maintained regular contacts with the representatives of Russian business circles - he met with them about 30 times. And some more figures: in 2002, Putin laid wreaths 13 times, presented state awards five times, hosted six ceremonial meetings and formal receptions, and attended six concerts.
The Russian President received more than 90 foreign delegations in the Kremlin, Novo-Ogaryovo, St. Petersburg and Sochi. Vladimir Putin had most telephone conversations with George Bush and Tony Blair. In 2002, Putin visited 17 cities abroad. On Russian soil he visited 22 places. Overall, counting from the beginning of his presidency, he has made about 200 air trips, spending more than a month and a half on board the plane.
This year, the Russian leader will maintain the cruise speed of his travel around the country and abroad, at least. Don't forget that the presidential elections are coming in 2004, which means that, most probably, the number of visits, meetings and trips should grow progressively.
Putin's first working visit this year could start as early as January - to attend the CIS summit in Ukraine if it opens as scheduled. The President's January schedule also includes participation in the work of the High State Council of the Russia-Belarus Union in Minsk and the meeting with the Japanese Premier, who is coming to Moscow right after the Orthodox Christmas holidays. In 2003, Vladimir Putin will also make official visits to France and the United Kingdom, and open the "Year of Russia" in Germany. In May, the President will receive foreign leaders from more than 40 countries in St. Petersburg to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Russia's northern capital.
For now, Vladimir Putin is spending a few days on the ski resort Abzhakovo near Magnitogorsk. It's the third time the President visits this winter resort.