Speech About Family

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I am very pleased to see you and to pass on greetings from South Africa. Late last night I met with the leaders of the entire African continent. Then I immediately travelled to our meeting with you. I would like to observe at the beginning of our discussion that Russia has participated in the World EXPO movement ever since the first world industrial exhibition in, I think, 1851 in London. And in 1900 Russia’s pavilion received a medal. In general, during all these years and decades, Russia has actively participated in the movement, often received various diplomas, prizes and a range of nominations, but has never yet hosted the EXPO itself. This time we are offering one of our industrial centres: the city of Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, where you've just been. Yekaterinburg is one of our traditional industrial centres, located almost exactly in Russia’s centre, and thus reflecting both the country’s European and Asian parts. I think that it will be a convenient destination for our colleagues and participants traveling from Europe and from other parts of the world, including Asia. In my opinion we have chosen a very good location [for the exhibition]. You know better, but I think it is a very good place indeed. I cannot give it a professional assessment; certainly you can do this better than I. The area intended for constructing EXPO facilities is covering 500 hectares between the airport and the city itself. In general, in my opinion, it is a convenient place and absolutely vacant. Construction has already begun. Moreover, some pavilions already exist as you saw for yourselves. Various exhibition events have already been held in these venues. The city and the region are actively developing. But if you and the other participants in this process decide that the EXPO will take place in Yekaterinburg, of course we will help the city develop, and develop its infrastructure in particular. Of course, in the first instance this refers to improving roads, further expanding...
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