At a festive rally, Vladimir Putin announced his intention to stand in the forthcoming presidential election.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear friends,
It is a great pleasure to be here with you today and have an opportunity to congratulate you on a wonderful date, your anniversary. Please accept my greetings on the 85th anniversary of our legendary GAZ.
When selecting a location for such industrial giants, many factors are considered: geography and many others. But the main question that must always be answered is about its personnel, the people who will work there.
I am sure that the right decision to build this giant on the banks of the great Russian river, the Volga, was made in the past because they are inhabited by talented, purposeful, patriotic, energetic and efficient people. These people – your predecessors – and you have been proving this for entire centuries by your life, work and attitude to the Fatherland.
It is enough to recall well-known facts of history. It was in Nizhny Novgorod that a volunteer militia was formed and later saved Moscow from interventionists, putting an end to the Time of Trouble. It was right after these events that the united, centralised and powerful Russian state began to rapidly develop.
It was largely here that the sword of victory was forged during the Great Patriotic War, the sword that later brought victory to our people in this war.
Of course, we all remember such famous brands as Polutorka, Emka and Pobeda, but GAZ continues to advance to this day. Moreover, it has become an inalienable part of our car industry, our economy and a natural part of world automobile production.
Nizhny Novgorod will undoubtedly prosper as will the GAZ plant, as will other cities of the Volga region, such as Samara and Kazan, and all the cities of European and eastern Russia, such as Chelyabinsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, and Vladivostok.
They will prosper, of course, because people are always at the foundation of everything. People like you, workers in the broadest sense of the word, including blue-collar workers, researchers, engineers, designers, teachers, and doctors, that is, all working people. This is not just the foundation of our country. This is our country. This is Russia.
With the active participation of people like you, we will overcome even the most complicated challenges facing us. Russia will keep moving forward. And no one will ever be able to stop it from moving forward.
Artyom Baranov: Good afternoon, Mr President. My name is Artyom Baranov. Thank you very much for your warm words, for joining us in our celebration, and congratulating us on the 85th anniversary of our plant.
Today, at the volunteers' forum, someone asked you if you are going to run for president, and you said that if the people want you to, then you would.
Everyone in this audience, without exception, supports you. Mr President, do us a favour. Announce your decision now. After all, we are for you. GAZ is for you.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you. Thank you very much.
Indeed, there is probably no better place or better occasion for announcing this. Thank you for your support. I will be a candidate for the office of President of the Russian Federation.
Thank you very much. Thank you for the response. Above all, thank you for your work. Thank you for your attitude to your work, the enterprise, the city, and the country. Together we will succeed.