Among those receiving the awards are cultural figures, scientists, diplomats, politicians, representatives of religious organisations, public figures, athletes, cosmonauts, agriculture sector workers and high technology production experts.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends and colleagues.
I would like to begin by thanking you for your fruitful and creative work, for your loyalty to your country and your cause, for your impressive achievements.
The efforts of each one of you at your workplace multiply the power of the entire nation. There cannot be any secondary areas here. The economy, science, culture, education, social work and public activity – all this taken together forms the nation’s development potential, its ability to meet the current challenges, be competitive and successful and take part in resolving key issues of both regional and global policy on an equal footing.
Our diplomacy, the Russian Foreign Ministry, plays an important part here. Sergey Lavrov and his colleagues defend Russia’s interests and implement its foreign policy with dignity and professionalism. Today Mr Lavrov is awarded the Order for Services to the Fatherland, I Degree.
Great victories come to those who not only have a talent, but also work to fulfil their potential, those who can create, dare and achieve what seems impossible at first glance.
Scientists, engineers and teachers – many of you are true pioneers in your respective areas. Your unique knowledge, discoveries, experience, and your daily meticulous work herald a step into the future, an important, essential contribution to this country’s power and prosperity.
Here today are people who ensure that Russian science and education occupy strong, often leading positions in the world.
Among them is an outstanding physicist, creator of a large school of research and entire sections of modern high technology production, President of the Kurchatov Centre Yevgeny Velikhov.
Also representing the academic community is the Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, major expert in space biology and medicine Anatoly Grigoryev.
The country’s leading cardiologist Yevgeny Chazov has dedicated his life to the development of national healthcare.
Petr Glybochko and Larisa Moshetova work to improve the system of medical training.
State decorations will also be awarded today to heads of industry production and research teams and workers of industrial and agricultural facilities.
You create the wealth of this country, asserting through your own example the importance of responsible labour, and you certainly deserve sincere respect and recognition.
Obviously, our future and our success largely depend on understanding and trust between people, on asserting our principal values, such as kindness and mercy. This is exactly what the traditional religions, their social and educational initiatives have always been directed at.
Here today we also have representatives of Russian charities. They feel other people’s pain as their own and make every effort to give help to those who need it. They are awarded decorations For Benevolence.
Leading theatre and film actor Vladimir Zeldin, a favourite among millions of Russian fans, bears an unquenchable inner fire that he has carried through the years. This year he turned 100 years old. Please accept our congratulations on the occasion once again, Mr Zeldin.
I am happy to see one of the most merited athletes in the world, the legendary and unrivalled Larisa Latynina. The victorious traditions laid by our outstanding athletes continue inspiring those who dedicate their lives to sport, who triumphantly demonstrate their skills at the most prestigious international tournaments.
You are all outstanding, gifted and accomplished personalities. Your achievements are the pride of our homeland, which we love so much, which we are so proud of and from which we are forever inseparable.
Allow me please to congratulate you with all my heart on these prestigious awards and to wish you success and all the best.
Thank you for your attention.
Vladimir Putin: Friends,
One of those awarded has just said about architecture that it makes life better and helps people enjoy life. I would like to say that everything you do, all your achievements make our life better and our nation stronger.
Using sports terminology, I would like to pass the ball back to you: it is through the efforts of people like you, and we have many such people, that this country is becoming stronger. It is inevitably in for a great and happy future. Therefore, I would like to thank you for your work.
It is of course very important to enjoy life. People like you are doing what they like best and achieve outstanding results. This makes it possible to enjoy life. Apart from everything else, this is a wonderful example for all our people.
Thank you very much. Allow me to wish you further success.