23 november, 2010 23:55  

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with American film star Leonardo DiCaprio


Mr Putin and Mr DiCaprio discussed global tiger conservation, and the prime minister talked about how the idea of a separate tiger recovery programme for Russia had emerged. He stressed that the programme would not be enough to resolve all problems. "There is still a lot to be done," he said.

Mr Putin asked how the actor had become interested in the tiger issue, and Mr DiCaprio replied that tiger conservation experts had addressed him. He also shared his experiences of his travels to India, Indonesia and Nepal.

The prime minister asked Mr DiCaprio about his misadventures on the way to Russia.

"I would like to thank you for coming here despite all obstacles. A man of lesser courage would have cancelled the trip and thought it was a bad omen," he said.

"Believe me, I heard voices saying I should," DiCaprio replied laughingly.

They also talked about DiCaprio's Russian ancestry. "Right, my ancestors' name was Smirnov," said the actor, adding that his grandfather was also Russian. "So I am really half-Russian," he remarked.

Mr DiCaprio also said that he had never been to St Petersburg before and was planning to do some sightseeing on Wednesday.

"I am sure you will take pride in your Russian ancestry tomorrow, when you see the city," Mr Putin answered.