President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
To begin with, I would like to congratulate you on your election to high positions in the regions, the residents of which have entrusted you with these positions that are very important for every person because the closer to the people the more responsible and complicated it is. I think some of you already know this while others will learn this soon.
The election campaign follows its own logic. The main goal is to show the voters one’s intentions, to demonstrate to them what you want to achieve. But this approach also dictates tough criticism of the opponents. This is all clear but it is also obvious that after the end of this period it is necessary to show tenability and keep the promises that you made to the people This is the bottom line.
All of you have different life and administrative experience. Some of you, like Oleg Kozhemyako, started careers as a plumber, doctor or lawyer. However, now you must use everything you have, the experience you have accumulated in the years of your work and life, that is the experience of life, production and public activity, and what is very important – to work befittingly for the benefit of people, laying aside other interests and priorities.
I would like to wish you success and the attainment of the goals that you set during the election campaign. I would like to hope that you will not let down the people and that they did not go wrong in choosing you.
The election campaign was complicated and even conflict-prone in the majority of your regions. Well, this is the logic of political struggle. In reality, I am glad that representatives of opposition parties, and this is the case for the majority here, do well at the elections and reach the goals they set for themselves.
Recently I met with the leaders of all the parliamentary parties, the leaders in the Russian Parliament, and we discussed this as well. They, in turn, also promised to give you every support. I hope you get to feel this support from the state, from me and from the members of your own parties.
And I would like to wish you good luck and a happy New Year. Let us discuss what issues and problems we have.