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Vladimir Putin held a meeting with permanent members of the Security Council to discuss the interaction between the Russian Federation and Central American and Caribbean countries, as well as the situation in Ukraine.
Present at the meeting were Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Ivanov, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov, Foreign Intelligence Service Director Mikhail Fradkov, Deputy Secretary of the Security Council Rashid Nurgaliyev, and a permanent member of the Security Council Boris Gryzlov.
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PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues.
Today we have one issue we had planned to discuss and one that is not on the agenda. The first one deals with the development of relations between the Russian Federation and the countries of Central America and the Caribbean.
The second matter, which we cannot disregard, concerns the events that are developing in Ukraine, in Crimea, and everything that has to do with this difficult problem, which has arisen - and I want to stress this – through no fault of ours. However, this crisis has occurred and we're involved in it whether we like it or not. I note that this is primarily a domestic Ukrainian crisis. Unfortunately, all of us realise that we have been drawn into this situation.
Let us consider together how we can build our relations with our partners and friends in Ukraine and with our other partners in Europe and the United States.
Let us start with the first issue, which is on today's agenda.