'This Week' Transcript: Russian President Vladimir Putin

ROSS: They want to give more help, but the Russians seemingly say this is our show. We run our show the way we want it. They don't seem particularly interested in being advised or advising the Americans who are going to be there. There will be small teams of U.S. armed security personnel guarding the U.S. teams, but perhaps not as many as the U.S. wants. They're afraid if they complain too much publicly, Russia may even further restrict the number of U.S. personnel who can be there providing security.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Brian Ross, thanks very much.

Now to my talk with President Putin. Forbes calls him the world's most powerful man. Some suspect he may also be the wealthiest. And he's putting every possible resource to work in Sochi.

These games are far and away the most expensive ever. As we reported, they threatened to be the most dangerous. And Putin has been on the defensive over Russia's anti-gay propaganda laws.

He's also been out for a little charm offensive, (inaudible) political prisoners, reaching out to sell these games and giving us his first American broadcast interview in years.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Make or break time for Vladimir Putin, a unique chance to showcase his country.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): I would very much like during the Olympics for the athletes, visitors, reporters and those who will follow the Olympics on TV through the media for people to see a new Russia.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It all began with a personal pitch.

PUTIN: It is a great honor for me to address you today and to present the gift of Sochi to host the Olympic winter games in 2014.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Putin even speaking English to sell the International Olympic Committee on Sochi.

PUTIN: It will snow guaranteed.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And just seven years later, the changes here are stunning. Take Sochi's incredible transformation from sleeping resort town to a virtual security state. 80,000 troops, drones in the sky, missile defense systems and a computer network monitoring every email and phone call. It's been called a ring of steel.

Putin told me and my fellow anchors from Russia, China and the UK that it will work.

PUTIN (through translator): The job of the Olympics host is to ensure security of the participants in the Olympics and visitors. We will do whatever it takes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The United States State Department has issued a travel advisory for all Americans heading to Sochi. And some of the athletes have even set up their own evacuation plans, own private security teams. Is that necessary?

PUTIN (through translator): If someone believes that they should devise their own personal security plans, there is nothing wrong with that. However, it must be done in contact with the Olympics organizers and with our security services.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But after a string of terrorist attacks in other parts of Russia, the whole country is braced for a strike.

RICHARD CLARKE (The New York Times): My guess is that if anything happens, it's not going to happen in Sochi, it's not going to happen inside the zone around Sochi. It'll happen in some city. And whether it's Petersburg or Moscow or some small city in the outside, that's where more likely a terrorist attack could occur.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you concerned that with all the security here there terrorists might choose to strike in other parts of Russia.

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