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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues and friends, I’d like to convey to you the greetings from the students who have gathered here in Altai for a student forum. I've just come from there and have to admit that the atmosphere is very relaxed and friendly. I would like to make just one remark on this subject. I want to tell the colleagues who are here to meet with the United Russia core group what the students said.
It’s a fact of life that some people always expect favours and constantly grumble about something: ‘The government isn’t doing anything, we are so great but still haven’t got the right conditions to realise our potential’. Or, ‘I’m 22 already but still don’t have my own flat. How is that possible?’ And so on in the same vein. The details may be different but the gist is the same. At the other end of the spectrum are those who are trying to change their lives, regardless of their age: they could be 16 or 90, it doesn’t matter. I would very much like our party, United Russia, to be dominated by the people from the second group.
Those of you who have gathered here are the party’s core group, by which we mean the most active members, people who do a lot of hard work for the benefit of the nation and to make United Russia the leading political party in the country. We have a good chance of achieving this: at present United Russia has the majority in Parliament. I am confident that we will keep our leading position after the election to be held on December 4.
However, we must bear in mind that we don’t need leadership for its own sake; we need it to carry out reforms and to modernise our country, our economy and our society and in order to achieve success. Today I would like us to talk about ways to achieve success, both in general and in terms of the specific issues that you are working on.
As I have already said – and this may be a commonplace phrase but I believe that it is absolutely honest – as the ruling party, United Russia must always be a party of action, real and down-to-earth. The opposition has always been well-placed to criticise because it is easier to say: ‘We would have done it differently’. Whereas those who have taken on responsibilities face a much bigger challenge: they must fulfil their plans in real life and, secondly, because they become a target for criticism, both constructive and vicious, and we must be mentally prepared for this.