President of Russia Dmitry MEDVEDEV: Friends,
I congratulate you sincerely on Moscow City Day. On this day we celebrate the capital that is dear to our whole country and dear, of course, to every Muscovite.
For the first time today, we are opening the celebrations on Red Square. The link with the past makes itself felt especially strongly here at the capital’s very heart. It was from here that those who fought in the battle for Moscow left for the front in November 1941. Four years later, it was here that the parade marking our Great Victory took place. Now, as we prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Moscow’s heroic defence, I address special words of thanks to the war veterans: you did much indeed for our country’s and capital’s peaceful development. We will always give our utmost attention to ensuring that veterans have decent conditions for life.
Moscow today is one of the world’s most beautiful, and I would say, most influential cities. New initiatives such as developing an international financial centre and establishing a new administrative centre in the new city boundaries are already underway.
These are immense undertakings indeed. Both of them can deservedly be called unprecedented, but most important of all is that they aim to make Moscow a truly competitive and highly developed megapolis. This requires us to modernise the transport infrastructure, greatly improve the environmental situation, and create the conditions for new business development, including innovative business and spread and use of new technology in all areas of the capital’s life. Ultimately, we must make our dear Moscow one of the most comfortable capital cities to live in – a place which is comfortable for living, working and creating.
The project to expand the city’s administrative boundaries still entails a lot of detailed work on many different issues, from the general development plan to optimising budget relations. At the same time, we must not forget about history, about preserving the city’s historic centre and rich cultural heritage, including the federal buildings – the buildings occupied today by federal agencies. Many of Moscow’s buildings are unique works of architecture and true monuments of their era.
This large scale undertaking will require the involvement of talented professionals who can think creatively and make use of the most advanced methods, technology and approaches. Of course all of this work must be carried out in direct dialogue with the Muscovites and with civil society. I hope that Moscow’s new city leadership will take just this approach.
Muscovites must be sure that in all their decisions, whether the most important or seemingly more minor matters, the authorities will hear their voice, care about their views, and take their opinions into account.
One of Moscow’s most important traditions is the city budget’s social focus. Today too, social spending accounts for practically half of all budget spending. Housing construction is advancing at a good pace. More than 20,000 Muscovites will get new apartments this year alone.
Much attention is being given to beautifying and improving residential buildings and yards, renovating building entrances, and improving the public transport system. The city plans to open 35 new metro stations over the next five years – this is a large number. All of this is very important for Muscovites and gives them a greater quality of life.
The capital has always attracted the most decisive, energetic and confident people. This is true of any capital city. The people who come here are of many different ethnic backgrounds, but all, of course, must show respect for each other’s cultures and traditions. This kind of cooperation is the guarantee of Moscow’s, and all of Russia’s successful development.
I sincerely wish Moscow, all of its residents, and its leadership success in the immense work ahead. The whole world is looking at Moscow today, and I am sure that our beloved capital will be a modern, developed, and very beautiful city.
I congratulate you all.