Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Stroyev, members of the Federation Council,
Yegor Stroyev, the Speaker of the Federation Council, is leaving his post today. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to him for the hard work he has been doing here for six years with such brilliance.
It fell to the 1990s generation of politicians to accomplish the most difficult task: to change the nature of the state and the political system in our country. The Russian Parliament too has been exploring uncharted territory. The members of Parliament had to start with the ABCs of their profession, and the Federal Assembly faced the challenge of becoming a genuine Parliament. It had to determine the face of the new democracy, of power that relies on the law. The Parliament speakers had a difficult time.
So, to say that Mr Stroyev has made a great contribution to the emergence of the parliamentary system in Russia, for the development of democracy and the new state in Russia is an understatement.
Today, as Yegor Stroyev chairs a meeting of the Federation Council for the last time I must say that for nearly six years he has been displaying the skill of a real speaker. It is difficult to dampen conflicts and bring together colourful, but very different people. I am convinced that the young generation of politicians have a great deal to learn from Yegor Stroyev. Once again, I would like to thank you and to wish you health and every success.
The law is the law, and under the law Mr Stroyev cannot simultaneously be a Governor and a member of the Federation Council. While I support this approach in principle, in Mr Stroyev’s case I can’t help saying that it is a pity. I will divulge a minor state secret: Mr Stroyev and I discussed this about two months ago. And I asked him to remain Speaker of the Federation Council, but he chose to be the Governor of the Oryol Region, saying that he was sure that the deputies of the renewed Federation Council would choose an honest, decent, young and energetic politician with whom I would find a common language.
I would like to thank you for the choice you have made today and to congratulate Sergei Mironov on his election to this high post of Speaker of the Upper House of the Parliament of the Russian Federation.
The key element in strengthening the state and making the whole system of power more secure has been the adoption of a new procedure of forming and work of the Federation Council. It is impossible to improve the mechanism of state without professional law makers who work on a full-time basis.
The period of renewal of the Federation Council is drawing to a close, which means that the Upper House of the Russian Parliament is entering a new period.
Your agenda includes many issues, a whole package of laws connected with the reform of the judiciary and the pension system, and some of these laws have been passed. I admit that we had some fears that once Mr Stroyev left, all the important laws would be shelved. I would like to thank Mr Stroyev for displaying his customary diligence and following this work through.
In conclusion I would like to announce that today I signed a decree decorating Yegor Stroyev with the order “For Services to the Homeland”, 1st class.