Dear citizens of Russia,
The words of the Presidential Oath have just now been spoken. Now I would like to stress the main idea of the Oath and say: the President’s obligations to look after the state and faithfully serve the people will henceforward be sacred for me and will be above all else as before.
As before, I consider that the help and backing of the citizens of Russia constitute the primary and most reliable support for the President’s work.
Today I would like to thank all those who placed such great trust in me by electing me to the post of head of Russian state and all those who, through their work, made their contribution to the results our country has achieved over these last four years.
As during the previous years, I will work actively, openly and honestly and will do all I can, all that is within my power to justify the hopes that millions of people have placed in me.
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The last four years were not easy years for us all. To be frank, they were years of serious trials. Back then, in 2000, it seemed that we were facing a great number of simply irresolvable problems.
But the people of Russia demonstrated their best qualities as patriots and citizens during these critical moments, coming together in the struggle to ensure the country’s territorial integrity and keep our land united, creating a foundation for Russia’s economic growth through their labor and determined efforts.
Together we have achieved a lot and we have achieved it through our only own efforts.
It was we who achieved high economic growth rates, we who overcame difficult ideological confrontation and are now gradually forging a truly united nation.
It was we who stood firm against the attacks of international terrorism and saved the country from the very real threat of collapse.
Together we have made our Motherland a country that is open to the world, a country that seeks broad and equal cooperation, a country that has strengthened its positions on the international stage and has learned how to use peaceful means to stand up for its lawful interests in a rapidly changing world.
The main objective of the coming four years is now to transform the potential we have built up into a new development energy and to use it to bring about a fundamentally new quality of life for our people and a real, tangible increase in their prosperity.
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It is often said here that the head of state in Russia answers and will always answer for everything. This is still the case. But today, although I have a deep awareness of my own personal responsibility, I nevertheless want to emphasize that Russia’s success and prosperity cannot and should not depend on one single person or one political party, or political force alone. We need a broad base for developing democracy in our country and for continuing the transformations we have begun.
It is my conviction that a mature civil society is the best guarantee that this development will continue.
Only free people in a free country can be genuinely successful. This is the foundation for both economic growth and political stability in Russia.
We will do all we can to ensure that everyone here can realize their talents and abilities, to ensure that a genuinely multiparty system develops and that personal freedoms are strengthened. We will make every effort to ensure that all people in Russia have access to good education and social and medical assistance, and that all people have lives free from want and are able to pass on the fruits of their own labor to their children. And, of course, that they could be proud of their strong but peace-loving country and its authority.
We still have much, very much, to do – for our country, for ourselves and for our children. We have all the opportunities we need to achieve the goals we have set. We have the resources, we have our experience and we have complete understanding of our development priorities which have been tried and tested by the positive practical experience of the last four years. We have enormous creative energy and a people with great intellectual potential.
We all are the inheritors of Russia and its thousand years of history, the inheritors of this land that has given birth to exceptional sons and daughters, workers, warriors, and creators. They have passed down to us this huge, great state.
There is no doubt that we can draw strength from our past. But even the most glorious history is not enough to ensure us a better life. Today’s generations of Russians must reinforce this grandeur through their own acts .
Only then will our descendents be able to feel pride in these pages that we are writing in the history of our great nation.
Thank you for your attention.