{mosimage} 30 October 2009 ~ Here's a transcript, available on the Russian government website, of a videoconference between with Vladimir Putin, Silvio Berlusconi and their Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In just one conversation, these three men laid the foundations for solving all our strategic hydrocarbon challenges – but, for Berlusconi, it has come at the unacceptable price of hurting Spanish footballing pride.

Berlusconi Tayyip, I also embrace you and hope that you'll congratulate me on Milan's win over Real Madrid yesterday.
Erdogan Dear friends, dear Mr Putin, dear Silvio. First of all, I send you greetings from Turkey with the most sincere sentiments. And I congratulate dear Silvio on Milan's win.

Putin In a follow-up to the football topic, which Silvio touched on, I'd like to say that Russia has something to be proud of too. One of the Russian clubs, Rubin from the Republic of Tatarstan, won a critical victory over Barcelona, a team that commands a great deal of respect in the football community. The last goal was scored by a Turkish player, which we would like to thank Turkey for.
Berlusconi Aren't we complicating international relations, specifically with Spain?
Putin I intentionally said that Barcelona commands a great deal of respect. A lot of Russian fans like this team. But that's sports. This time the Russian team Rubin turned out stronger. I would like to reiterate that it was thanks in no small part to a Turkish player.
Berlusconi My congratulations, but nevertheless I will have to talk to the Spanish Prime Minister.
Erdogan As far as the Spanish Prime Minister is concerned, to my mind, there's no need to get upset. Football is a sport, and the result of a game is unpredictable.
Putin I agree. I'm sure our Spanish counterpart won't get angry with us.

Spotted by Tom Hoyle 


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