RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Video address on the occasion of the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony”

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(Kremlin.ru – June 8, 2018)

[Russian video: kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57706]

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: To all football fans and the greatest football teams on the planet – welcome!

Welcome to all who have already arrived in Russia, and to those who are planning to take part in this landmark international event – the FIFA World Cup.

It is with immense joy and a great honor that we receive representatives of the great football family.

We want this event to be a celebration, filled with passion and emotions.

I hope you will have an unforgettable experience – not only watching the matches of your favorite teams and admiring the players’ skills, but also getting to know Russia.

Learning about its identity and culture, its unique history and natural diversity; its hospitable, sincere and friendly people.

We have done our best to ensure that all of our guests – the athletes, the staff and, of course, the fans – feel at home in Russia.

We have opened both our country and our hearts to the world. Welcome to the FIFA World Cup!

(In English.) Welcome to Russia!