President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
You know the events of these last few days. We therefore decided to change the New Year reception’s traditional format and give it more of a working atmosphere so that we could gather before the New Year in an informal setting to talk about what we have accomplished over this last year and the tasks ahead.
I will also change a little the format of my remarks. Rather than saying the usual words about the outgoing year and the incoming year, I would only like to say that we have worked hard and have produced results, and I want to thank you for this.
I just held a narrow-format meeting with the Security Council, where we talked about the fact that the outgoing year was more difficult for resolving economic and social tasks than 2015. To take just one parameter of importance to us – oil prices – they were at $40. In 2015, they were at $51, and this year at $40. In other words, they were worse, but our results were better than in 2015. We can say with confidence that no one can create difficulties that we would not be capable of overcoming.
But even this is not the most important point. Most important of all is that we know we have the strength to work and to achieve success, and we do this. This is in great part the result of everyone present here today, and of our colleagues, all of whom would not fit in this hall, your subordinates, the regional heads and their teams. This is our common result. Of course, it is the result of our entire people’s efforts.
I propose a toast to Russia and the Russian people. I want to wish all of us and our beloved country and motherland all the very best in 2017.