OREANDA-NEWS. Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:  Dmitry Medvedev: This is a special day and I’d like to say a few words. Congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Mikhalkov!

Nikita Mikhalkov: Thank you.

Dmitry Medvedev: I won’t say any high-flown words about history or landmarks.  I’ll just speak as a man from the Soviet period – for me, as well as for a vast number of my peers, childhood began with Mikhalkov's verses. This is true. I know yesterday you discussed editions for a long time until late – 300 million copies, 500 million, I’m not sure about the numbers…

Nikita Mikhalkov: Half a billion.

Dmitry Medvedev: This is a fantastic figure but I wanted to speak about something else. There are so many film scripts and animated cartoon scripts – I did not even know that Mr Mikhalkov wrote all of them. Surprisingly, they lived a parallel life. I didn’t know he was the author. They will stay with us forever.

Nikita Mikhalkov: Thank you, Mr Medvedev. In general, for us, for our family, it is very important that the name of our father is rightly remembered in this country and that children, our people and leaders of our country pay due respect to him. I think he deserved this, because practically every person who lives in this country and speaks Russian knows Mikhalkov’s children's verses. I’m ashamed to say it, but we think it’s too cheap until we lose it and weep. The father would write some verses: “I’ve got it again -- thirty six and five!”…

Dmitry Medvedev: He wrote for children and about children. It would seem he could write something serious…

Nikita Mikhalkov: Indeed. Moreover, he could write about me when I was a kid. This is why I missed so much. When I wanted to read something on his 95th birthday, I picked up one of his books and was truly stunned by what a great children’s poet he was.  He talks to children not as an adult but as their peer. He once said: “I don’t like children.” I asked: “How can you not like them?” He said: “It's very simple. I’m 13 and a 13 year-old child will never talk to me as if I were an adult.” I think this is the gist and this attitude made him a truly popular children’s poet.

Dmitry Medvedev: Truly close to people and children.

Nikita Mikhalkov: Yesterday all our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren gathered to mark my father’s birthday and they looked around in amazement (this is also very important), unable to understand why the President of our country had arrived. Mikhalkov was their granddad or great granddad, so what’s so special about him? By the way, I think that this attitude will prevent them from bragging about him and using his name.

Dmitry Medvedev: Well, one does not understand this right away. When you are young you don’t get it – understanding comes later. But let me congratulate you on the anniversary once again.

Nikita Mikhalkov: Thank you very much!