President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen,
I am very happy to see you all here at our traditional New Year reception, which is always such a warm and friendly event. First of all, I would like to extend my best wishes on the coming New Year.
We always look forward to the New Year with a special cheerful optimism. We see it as a boundary between the past and the future and hope for the best. Even being the very pragmatic and business-like people that we are, we always make wishes and try to visualise our dreams. However, these dreams and plans inspire us for new achievements.
This determination to move forward is typical of everyone who is assembled in this hall. These are heads of our major enterprises, leaders of political parties, people of science, culture and the arts, representatives of the Armed Forces, regional authorities, public organisations and businesses.
You are all sensitive to the rhythm of the times and I am certain that all of you consider working for Russia’s benefit, serving your nation and protecting its interests to be your priorities in life. This responsible and sensitive attitude to your Fatherland has always been evidence of honour, integrity, high civic duty and dedication to the moral values of our ancestors.
The outgoing year has shown us that there is demand for such qualities in our times. Our people demonstrated them when they sincerely supported the return of Crimea and Sevastopol to their native Russia.
Actually, events that can unite society and cause such a surge of patriotism do not happen very often. It is important to retain this generous state of mind and to give way to civic initiatives.
Each one of us here plays a very important part in this, without exaggeration, every one of you. I am certain that you all know well that consolidation is the key condition to surmounting any challenges, the key condition for Russia’s further development.
The coming year will not be an easy one. We are facing quite a few challenges, and we will definitely overcome them. Now, ahead of the New Year I would like to thank you for your work, for believing in yourselves and for your ability to meet the challenges of the times with dignity.
I wish you all health and happiness!
I would like to raise this toast to Russia!
To peace and prosperity!
To success in all our undertakings!
Happy New Year!