The President congratulated the governors on their election and wished them success in their work.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
I wanted to meet with you not only to present you with certifications on taking office, but first and foremost, to congratulate you on getting elected.
I believe the previous system for selecting regional leaders was also quite democratic. After all, deputies from the regional legislative assemblies voted for the future governors. Still, direct voting by secret ballot certainly involves a special level of responsibility. We often say that it invokes responsibility on both sides: the voters take on part of the responsibility by supporting a candidate while the candidates accept even greater responsibility [toward voters], particularly those candidates who won in this election.
But I would like to point out the following: there are many voters – hundreds, thousands, millions of people who voted for you – and this responsibility is spread equally among all of them. On the other hand, the same enormous responsibility lies exclusively on your shoulders, and your responsibility is certainly far greater than that of any average citizen who is eligible to vote. That is what I would like to focus on today.
Clearly, you have gained people’s confidence and in this regard, people trust you as experienced individuals who have shown yourselves in a positive light in your previous years of work. But it is also clear (and you know this better than anyone else) that there are many problems and many unresolved issues, therefore the election is not the end, but the beginning of really hard and highly responsible work.
It is now time for the most important part of the process, as you must carry out the plans and objectives that you yourselves formulated during your electoral campaigns, stating that this is an important component in your lives. People certainly expect that you will do as you promised, and that your actions will mirror your words.
I had no doubt that the current governors, particularly those who have proven themselves in recent years, will be supported by our people throughout the Russian Federation’s regions. But like your voters, I also expect that you will engage in efficient, persistent, goal-oriented efforts, so that Russian citizens living in your regions perceive the results. One way or another, it will have a certain effect on life throughout Russia, I mean, the five regions you represent play a significant, notable role in the life of the entire nation.
I once again congratulate you and wish you success!