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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,
I wanted to meet with you and thank you for your work. Some of you were in office longer than others, but all of you worked in difficult circumstances. Here is what I wanted to say.
We are all aware that it never was smooth sailing. There is no need to describe the situation. The circumstances in which we all lived and you worked included external constraints and purely objective things of economic nature. Globally, and for the Russian economy as well, these were not the best times. However, you managed to keep the situation under control and stabilise it. It was not an easy socioeconomic challenge, and, overall, you did everything in your power to minimise external negative impacts.
I am aware that some of you have been asking for a long time to be replaced in your post – some had been serving for a long time, and still others were already looking for another job themselves, the reasons varied. Anyway, I would like to stress the most important thing: each of you has done his best in his office in order to preserve, stabilise and create proper conditions for the further development of the regions.
To conclude the first part, I would like to not just express my gratitude to you, but also let you know that the necessary documents have been prepared, and you will all receive state decorations for the specific work you did in the regions. This is my first point.
Second is the further development: human resources and so-called continuity. I would like to ask you to render assistance to the people who have taken your place. As a rule, these are young people who are just starting out in these high positions. Probably you have noticed the fire in their eyes. All of them are striving to fulfil their potential, to show what they are capable of. But it has always been useful to know and get a sense of what was done before them and in what conditions. It also helps to know the most promising areas of regional development. Of course, they have to strike out on their own, but I would be most grateful to you if you shared with them at least part of your experience and capabilities.
Probably you have noticed that we are trying to work with the so-called personnel reserve on a broader scale. The new programme, Leaders of Russia, has been announced. There are also other projects for personnel training. So, I am also counting on you in this respect.
Each of you already knows approximately what he will do. But there are still some outstanding issues. I want you to know that we will work on odds and ends with each of you and do our best to allow you to make full use of your capabilities, experience and knowledge in your new jobs. I believe you will do your best to achieve positive results no matter what positions you occupy.
A few words in conclusion. The New Year is not far off and I hope to have an opportunity to congratulate you at the reception in the Kremlin. I invite all of you with your wives to the reception in the Kremlin. We will also invite all other colleagues who left their positions as heads of regions.
That concludes what I wanted to say. I will be pleased to answer your questions and talk informally with you.