The ceremony opened with the Russian State Flag, Presidential Standard, Russian Constitution, and the Symbol of Presidential Office being brought into the Grand Kremlin Palace’s St Andrew Hall.
The President-elect swore an oath of loyalty to the Russian people and was officially declared head of state by President of the Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin.
Approximately 3,000 people were invited to attend the ceremony, including members of the Russian Federation Government, State Duma deputies and members of the Federation Council, Constitutional Court judges, and representatives of other federal bodies of state power.
Members of Vladimir Putin’s presidential election campaign team and campaign headquarters, other candidates in the 2012 presidential election, heads of diplomatic missions, members of the clergy, academic and cultural figures, art workers and public figures also attended the event.
The Presidential Regiment then marked Mr Putin’s inauguration with a parade on the Kremlin’s Cathedral Square. The regiment celebrates the 76th anniversary of its founding today.
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Dmitry Medvedev: Citizens of Russia, friends,
The inauguration of a new president always marks a new stage in our country’s life and history. The President is the head of state, guarantor of the Constitution, of human rights and civil liberties, and he sets the main lines of our foreign and domestic policy.
Continuity in the country’s policy is essential for Russia to keep moving forward. It is vital that we continue the major transformations we have pursued over these last years in economic, social and political life. Only if we do this can we build a strong democratic country in which law and social justice rule, a country that guarantees its citizens’ security and gives its people every opportunity for self-realisation and for business, civil, and creative initiative.
I made these goals my priorities during my time as President. I worked as I promised in taking the oath of office: honestly and openly, in the interests of the people, doing everything I could to give them freedom and confidence in the future.
We achieved a lot, even during the difficult time of global crisis. We fulfilled all of our social obligations and went even further by engaging in economic modernisation. Of course, we did not succeed in doing everything we hoped, and did not manage to complete everything we planned, but this work will continue, and of this I am certain.
We faced serious tests together. Russia’s security has been tested, which happened in the past as well, and so we had to prove its strength and resist aggression. We continued the fight against terrorism, which continues to threaten our country.
I think that one of our biggest and clearest achievements has been to get our people more broadly involved in political life. It is absolutely vital that the authorities become more open for dialogue and cooperation. The authorities cannot work effectively without feedback from the public, and without taking into account the initiatives that come from within society. I made these my guiding principles in my work. We all share the same aspirations after all, those of the common good, freedom and progress. We all share the same love for our children and for our homeland, for Russia.
As I end my term in office, I want to thank everyone who supported me over these years. I thank you for the immense trust you placed in me, for your help and support, and for being together with me over this time.
I want to thank all of Russia’s people. Thank you all! We still have much work before us.
To head our country and work for our people is a huge responsibility and a great honour. I am pleased that Vladimir Putin is taking this office today. He is an experienced and strong leader who has the support of the majority of our people.
I wish him success in his office and in his work for our country and people!
President of the Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin: In accordance with Article 82.1 of the Russian Federation Constitution, to take presidential office the President-elect swears an oath set by the Constitution.
Mr Putin, I ask you to swear the oath.
Vladimir Putin: I swear that in exercising the powers of the President of the Russian Federation, I shall respect and protect human and civil rights and freedoms, observe and protect the Constitution of the Russian Federation, protect the sovereignty and independence, security and integrity of the State, and faithfully serve the people.
Valery Zorkin: Vladimir Putin has taken office as President of Russia.
Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia,
As I take office as President of the Russian Federation, I am aware of my great responsibility before our country. Russia’s interests and the security and prosperity of our people have always been and always will be my utmost priority. I will do everything to justify the trust that millions of our citizens have placed in me. I see the whole sense and purpose of my life as being to serve our country and serve our people, whose support gives me the inspiration and help I need to resolve the greatest and most complex tasks.
We have travelled a great and difficult road together, believing in ourselves and our strength and ability. We have strengthened our country and returned our dignity as a great nation. The world has seen a Russia risen anew, and this is the result of our people’s hard work and our common effort, to which everyone has made their personal contribution. We have everything we need today to continue our development and progress: an effective and developing state, a solid economic and social foundation, and an active and responsible civil society. I think that much credit here is due to Dmitry Medvedev. His presidency ensured that our country could keep developing with continuity and stability, and gave new impetus to modernisation in all spheres of life. He has big tasks and very responsible work ahead and I wish him success in this.
We are now entering a new stage in our national development that requires us to resolve tasks at a principally new level, tasks of a different quality and scale. These coming years will be crucial for shaping Russia’s future in the decades to come. We must all understand that the life of our future generations and our prospects as a country and nation depend on us today and on our real achievements in building a new economy and developing modern living standards, on our efforts to look after our people and support our families, on our determination in developing our vast expanses from the Baltic to the Pacific, and on our ability to become a leader and centre of gravity for the whole of Eurasia.
We will achieve our goals if we remain united and stand together, treasure our homeland, strengthen our country’s democracy, constitutional rights and freedoms, and expand our citizens’ participation in government and in setting our national agenda, so that everyone’s desires for a better life become part of the common effort for our country’s prosperity. We will achieve success for sure if we stand firmly upon the solid foundation of our multi-ethnic people’s cultural and spiritual traditions, our centuries of history, the values that have always been the moral backbone of our life, and if each of us lives according to their conscience, with love for and faith in their country, their families and loved ones, and care for their children’s happiness and their parents’ welfare.
We want to live and we will live in a democratic country in which everyone has the freedom and opportunity to apply their talents and labour, their energy. We want to live and we will live in a successful Russia that the world respects as a reliable, open, honest and predictable partner. I believe in the strength of our common goals and ideals, our determination to transform our country, our people’s united efforts, and our common desire for freedom, truth and justice. We are ready for the tests and accomplishments ahead. Russia has a great past and just as great a future. We will work with faith in our hearts and sincere and pure intention.