Transcript: George Stephanopoulos Interviews Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

MEDVEDEV: The situation is not the best. I would like to make a few corrections to what you said. Thank God the life expectancy is not going down, but up. And within the last period when we started social programs, and I personally started to take care of it, the life expectancy rose already by four years. Unfortunately that's not big, but it's growth. So we're on the correct path. We're still dissatisfied. What should we do? We should boost our economy and develop social programs in health care, education and promote healthy lifestyles. Sports. And a desire to take care of his or her own health. To exercise. There's nothing tricky in it but you have to get to it and create the conditions…

STEPHANOPOULOS: You had a rough Olympics.

MEDVEDEV: I didn't have an olympic games, I didn't take part in them. But they were a tough games for our country, yes, because for the first time we had a steep decline in the medal count. This is not a national disaster, but we have to take a lesson from it. We should prepare better next time. Because when you host the Olympics you are counting on many medals.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You have a big comeback. Let me ask you, the American public doesn't know all that much about you personally. But I was fascinated to be-- in reading your biography to learn many of the details. You were brought up in Soviet Russia, without religion. Yet, at the age of 23, you walk into a church to become baptized. Why?

MEDVEDEV: I did feel that I needed it. I wanted to do it. Why do people go to church? They come because they feel a need, except if they're sightseeing. So at 23 I felt I needed it. I believe it's good for me, because afterwards my life changed. You don't really talk aloud about something like that because the religious feelings should be somewhere deep inside of you. If someone is displaying it, it's not really honest. It's more PR for yourself. But I believe religion is important for every person. Don't you think so?

STEPHANOPOULOS: I do. I was also impressed by the fact that-- you have a deep love of heavy metal. Where did that come from? Led Zeppelin? Deep Purple. Pink Floyd.

MEDVEDEV: That's from my childhood. My adolescence. I don't know what music did you listen to at age 15 or 20? But I did listen to that music even though I was raised behind the Iron Curtain.

STEPHANOPOULOS: My wife makes fun of me for soft rock.

MEDVEDEV: Although I lived behind the Soviet Iron Curtain the music seeped through. We listened to what the whole planet listened to.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're still a fan?

MEDVEDEV: Yes but now I'm more diverse in music. I do like classical music, and soft rock, and jazz, which I never listened to when I was 15. Now I like it. The older you get, the more tolerant you get, right?

STEPHANOPOULOS: I have to ask you about a case that has shocked people both in the United States and here in Russia. The case of the seven-year-old boy. Si-- Siberian boy. Ardev Siveliev (PH) who was adopted-- in the United States, returned back alone with a note pinned to his chest saying, I can't keep him anymore. You're shaking your head. You know about this.

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