President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
I am very happy to welcome all the participants of this ceremony for presenting the Order of Parental Glory here, in the Kremlin. As per tradition, this ceremony coincides with International Children’s Day. This is symbolic, because parental love, care and attention as well as support are the most needed and genuine protection a child can have.
There are large close-knit families here in this hall today, who are generous with this kind of maternal and paternal love. Families with many children’s smiles and warmth, where there is openness, mutual help and trust. You have chosen (I am speaking to the parents first of all) a happy, noble, but also a very difficult path of great responsibility and worry that demands all of your efforts, patience and strength.
And, of course, your constant work on yourself, because words alone, even words from the closest people – parents – are not enough to instill such values as kindness, fairness and hard work. You must set a personal example to prove your loyalty to these values every day. This is the only way to raise a respectable person, an upstanding citizen of Russia. And your families are the best proof of this.
Of course, the work of parents does not involve vacations or days off, but it is an amazing reward in itself that outweighs all the difficulties. This is a chance to see your children taking their first steps, growing up and learning, to discover the world once again together with them and to celebrate their success and achievements.
You and your families, represent this very beautiful parental happiness. And I am sure you bring joy and inspiration to many people, especially young people, those who are still working on an image of their future life and dreaming of love, a good family and, of course, of children. Support for family, motherhood and childhood remains among the unconditional priorities of the state.
We will continue to do everything to support people like you. We are, of course, committed to solving the so-called demographic issues, to having natural population growth in the country. In official terms, we need to increase the birth rate. These are all official and, at first sight, somewhat lifeless words and figures, but this is a reflection and continuation of the changes underway in our country.
I understand that parents, especially those who dream of a large family, need confidence that their children will have access to modern, quality education and healthcare, that they will be able to improve their living conditions, live in comfortable, well-organised towns, villages, cities; that every child will have the opportunity to do what he or she is interested in and develop his or her abilities and talents. We consistently work in all these areas and will continue to do so.
In particular, as you know, the maternity capital programme has been extended, and the possible ways to use it are being expanded. Since the beginning of this year, families with a second or a third child enjoy subsidised mortgage interest rates. I hope that the programme to increase the availability of nurseries, which we are launching following a similar project for kindergartens, will also produce the kinds of results people need. We will continue to work on these areas. We need to ensure that families, especially those with many children, are surrounded by attention from the state and society. We will do our best to achieve this.
Let me once again sincerely congratulate you on your well-deserved state awards and thank all the large, close-knit families of our great country that you represent.
Thank you for your attention.
Vladimir Putin: Friends,
People from different Russian regions, of different nationalities and occupations are here today. There is one thing that unites you all: your soul and your kindheartedness towards children. The people here today are average, ordinary people, but they are the most important ones for Russia, because you bring up children. Children are the most important thing for any state, and you put your whole heart into this; you are extremely professional in the broadest sense of the word.
I am grateful for your warm words addressed to my colleagues and me. We are really doing something to support families with children in general and large families in particular.
I know that it is still too little. But we will try to do everything we can to support your families and other families like yours. Let me assure you that as the country’s capabilities increase, we will keep a close eye on this.
Let me stress again that we have not done all that we could have done. We will work on this. I would like to return the kind words you had for me. I wish you good health and emotional fortitude. I wish you success in the noble work you have dedicated your lives to.
Thank you very much.