President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
The presentation of state decorations is a wonderful opportunity to single out the achievements of the people who deserve to be known by the entire country, to thank you for your labour, your talent, heroism and your contribution to strengthening our state, developing our society, resolving the key tasks facing our country.
Time keeps coming up with new challenges, testing our unity and our readiness to jointly protect and defend Russia’s national interests. This is a time when we especially feel the importance of trust, solidarity, generation ties, the importance of appreciating our national history and its lessons, relying on the traditions of fraternity and accord that unite our multi-ethnic people.
We have always lived with trust in good and justice, capable of pushing aside everything that stood in our way, all the differences in the name of our love for our Fatherland. It is this unity that makes us stronger today. Our society has always respected those who commendably do their professional and civic duty, who are engaged in creative search, working towards new victories, those who feel their responsibility to their country, who demonstrate valour and courage.
Thus, complex programmes of long space flight missions require stamina, willpower and true courage. We seem to be getting used to these flights, but every such event is a feat of heroism, a huge risk. For the successful performance of such a flight Sergei Ryazansky receives the titles of Hero of Russia and Russian Federation Pilot-Cosmonaut. Internal Troops Colonel Serik Sultangabiyev has also demonstrated true courage. In a critical situation during military exercises he took the blow to rescue his comrade, deserving the Gold Star Medal of the Hero of Russia.
Russian journalists are working in ‘hot-spots’, carrying on with honour the traditions of the legendary war correspondents of the Great Patriotic War. They report from the frontlines, telling the truth about what is happening in military conflict zones. For his professionalism and courage, special correspondent of the National State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) Yevgeny Poddubny is awarded the Order of Alexander Nevsky.
I would like to say the warmest words today about those who work in production, work the land and develop new fields. I would like to speak of those who create the strong foundation that we need for our Fatherland to flourish and our people to prosper. Alexander Yezhevsky made a great contribution to the development of agricultural machine building. Only recently, he celebrated his 100th birthday, but he continues working despite his venerable age. Thank you for coming here today.
The energy and talent of the people dedicated to what they are doing result in the most outstanding discoveries and breakthroughs in scientific knowledge and technical progress, in medicine and education. The works of Academician Gennady Romanenko, vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, are widely known. He is one of the developers of the fundamental principles of Russia’s agrarian policy.
Among the recipients are scientists of world renown: Nobel prize winner and respected public figure Zhores Alfyorov.
Also here is the founder of the top cardiology school – top not only in this country, but also one of the best in the world – an outstanding surgeon who performs extremely complicated surgeries and has saved countless lives – Leonid Bokeria.
Also with us is a group of people representing the humanitarian sphere. Natalya Solzhenitsyna is making a great contribution to preserving the historical, literary and philosophical heritage of Russia, to promoting educational and charitable initiatives.
People, whose creative achievements and fruitful public work are known to all, have become full cavaliers of the Order For Services to the Fatherland. They are Nikita Mikhalkov, Yury Solomin, Oleg Tabakov and Gennady Khazanov, and the renowned master of national and world opera Dmitry Khvorostovsky.
It is a pleasure to welcome this country’s good friends, our partners who are actively and constructively working to strengthen economic and cultural ties with Russia and are assisting in establishing mutual understanding and trust between peoples. These are Chairman of the Korean financial-industrial corporation Lotte Mr Dong Bin Shin, and a well-known British public figure, director of the Science Museum Group, Mr Ian Blatchford.
Such ceremonies are not simply a tribute to our tradition or state protocol. This is also a chance to meet with gifted, interesting, enthusiastic people who have been lucky enough to find their path and do their job for the benefit of their country. Your achievements and success, you courage and steadfastness, your loyalty to your Fatherland is convincing proof of the fact that present-day Russia is worthy of its great predecessors and its great history.
Please accept my congratulations on receiving your state decorations. I wish you all the best.