Vladimir Putin: Center Stage

Russian president's controversial statements about gays and children.
3:00 | 01/17/14

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Transcript for Vladimir Putin: Center Stage
Now, we turn the big headline overseas n russia, a rare interview, abc's george stephanopoulos with the brash president vladimir putin on the eve of the olympic games and today, putin talked about everything from gay athletes to terror and security. George was the only american journalist with him. George? Reporter: Diane, president putin hasn't done an american broadcast interview in years. But these games are important to him. Security is the number one challenge. For 15 years, he's held an iron grip on power, a showman, eager to show off for the world. Now, putin is eager to show the world his russia. But today when asked whether gay visitors will be welcomed in sochi, in his answer, putin said this -- Translator: We have a ban of prop gandy of gay, we're not rounding up anyone, so one can feel relaxed and at ease, but please leave the children in peace. Reporter: Earlier in day we sat down with putin, to reassure that the sochi olympics will be safe Translator: If we allow ourselves to be weak, by doing that, we'll assists those terrorists in achieving their goal. Our job, needless to say, as olympic hosts, to assure security of the participants in the olympics. And we'll do whatever it takes. Reporter: You have put so much into these olympics, going back to 2007, so I wonder, how do you define success in sew whee and is your personnel honor and reputation at stake? Translator: No, no. I wanted to be the nation's success, it's not my personal ambition, it's the direct, direct interest concentrated interest of the state. Naturally, when I see it, and when do it of course, I take pleasure in it. But once again, this isn't to satisfy some ambition. There's also a moral dimension to it. There's nothing to hide or be embarrassed by here. Following the collapse of the ussr, following hard and let's put it bluntly, blood-soaked development in the caucuses, the overall state society was depre depressing, we need to cheer up, we need to understand and feel that we are capable of pulling off major, large-scale projects. Reporter: We covered a lot of other ground. Edward snowden the controversy er that anti, gay propaganda law in russia, the president was defiant there. He smiled there when with he asked about whether he and president bet about the number of gold medals. An american shoppers and the

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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