'This Week': Vladimir Putin

George Stephanopoulos interviews Russian President Putin in Sochi about security threats facing the Winter Olympics.
3:00 | 01/19/14

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Transcript for 'This Week': Vladimir 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 -- reported -- threatened to be the most dangerous. And -- has been on the defensive over Russia's anti gay propaganda laws. He's also been on something of a charm offensive. -- high profile political prisoners reaching out to sell these games and giving us his first American broadcast interview in years. Make or break time for Vladimir Putin a unique chance to showcase his. Country when you what you -- Jewish the -- I was very much like during the Olympics for the athletes visitors reporters and those who follow the Olympics on TV through the media. For people to see the new Russian. It all began with a personal pitch. It immigrated from local media put president of the and the president of the group also -- Because their Olympic Winter Games in 24. You couldn't even speaking English to sell the international Olympic committee on -- and real -- guaranteed. And just seven years later the changes here are stunning. -- -- is incredible transformation. From sleepy resort town to a virtual security state. 80000 troops drones in the sky. Missile defense systems and a computer network monitoring every email and phone call it's being called a ring of steel. It goes to gruden told me and my fellow Lancaster and Russia China in the UK that it will work. And you physically shares to -- that the job of the Olympics posters to ensure security of the participants in the Olympics and visitors -- -- we will do what ever -- takes. The -- State Department is if you 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. He took took -- should -- -- 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. But. A string of terrorist attacks in other parts of Russia the whole country is braced for a strike my guess is that if anything happens it's not going to happen. In -- it's not going to happen in defied the zone around -- It'll happen in -- city whether it's -- -- -- -- or some small city in the outside. -- -- More likely. A terrorist attack -- there are you concerned that with all the security here is that terrorists may choose to strike in other parts. Of Russia. -- quote -- -- we have adequate means available to us through the federal security service the interior ministry of the armed forces units that will be involved in providing security. On the water and in the years. If necessary all those tools will be activated will all this security kill the joy. Turning Sochi into what one critic called. The good blog Olympics finished film experiences we would try and make sure that security measures -- -- that you are not in your face. Do not put pressure on the athletes and visitors reportage. -- is also pitching here for better ties to the US. Relations strained by a series of confrontations. Including that granted asylum to NSA leaker Edwards Snowden so what do you say to Americans who see Russia and do not only as a rival but an unfriendly adversary. Preventive between major countries there certainly always are some common ground and -- -- -- -- detention. With respect to athletes he might recommend and advised them not to think about the political differences -- politics should not interfere with sports. And sports should impact politics the most famous American Russia right now as -- Seen by deception. -- -- live from Utica and it's the most renowned American and Russian known as Barack Obama and Russian agent Howard Hoffman and everybody is invited his mistress Snowe and is subject to the treatment of provisional asylum here in Russia which he has a right to travel freely across the country he has no special limitation. He can just buy a ticket and come here and stay as long as he wants. In the community yes sure definitely. Whoever comes to Sochi will find -- city still under construction and it is costing a fortune. Lots of questions also hear about career options and unbelievable. Cause -- -- limiting -- Arnold win more than any other ever. What one official estimate was that it would be 51 billion dollars a lot of people say it's in fact gone up since then so it could even be higher and -- -- we don't really know the exact number. More than eight billion dollars -- this one road eclipsing the entire cost of the last Winter Olympics. Organizers are even spending on extra snow insurance against Sochi is subtropical climate. -- himself that I guarantee there will be snow guarantee so they built -- no guarantee system which is pretty routine. And most ski resorts but the ones here about the most expensive. Anywhere in the world. Critics say that extravagant spending is triggering excessive corruption and a Swiss member. -- -- internationally can be communities said that the corruption problem is actually in Massachusetts. And -- matter. To eighteen billion dollars in embezzled. Is he right and what can be done about it and -- you could put of the. No it's not true that when you first of all the Swiss -- didn't say that. I do appreciate that it's reporter's job to always trying to -- sexy subjects to be talked about much of our law enforcement agencies have been working in this area like that so far we are not seeing any major large scale manifestations. Of corruption as part of the implementation of the Sochi -- to me. These are pollutants games you've put so much in these Olympics going back to 2007. So I wonder now how do you define success. In Sochi and is your personal honor and reputation at stake than it I don't know if you see I wanted to be a success for this nation. What's first and foremost frost and I've already said that we are hosting games Olympics. So that millions of sports fans the world over will feel the celebration -- even though they are thousands or hundreds of kilometers away from Sochi. It won't be my personal success that successful belong to this country. And I hope the success will come true. I was just wondering do you care to make a friendly -- with President Obama and which countries going to win more medals. The US or Russia Ukraine estimate -- -- no of course not but as we never make such threats. Iraq as a huge sports fan and I concede he's in terrific shape and gives it enough of his attention. Not just to playing sports but also to promoting sports. We wish success to our US friends the US athletes three to four as far as medals. Those two are an important element of any sports event including the Olympics -- -- -- what is even more important to me is to see that our national team is capable -- that effective -- holds promise.

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

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