President Vladimir Putin: We must realise the full complexity and importance of this moment in our centuries-old country’s historical development.
You know, practically from the moment a person is born, disease-inducing bacteria and health-threatening viruses enter his body. But if he grows up strong and healthy, his immune system suppresses these disease-causing germs and viruses. The minute his health weakens, however, they are all let loose and provoke an onslaught of life-threatening illnesses. That is what has happened here – the country, the state, became weakened and so we find ourselves now facing this onslaught. There is no sense in us now heaping particular blame on those who deliberately provoke this situation, I will speak about this separately, but these harmful elements are present inside each person’s body and within each state. What we need to do is improve the way the power system works and the country is managed. We need to create an effective economy. We need to restore the health of the entire Russian state and economic system.
We have indeed set off down a difficult and completely unexplored path, but this is not the time now to look back and say that this or that mistake was made. Rather, let us take our responsibility today in hand and act as we believe necessary, taking into account the positive and negative experiences of the past decade.
It is not by chance that today we are discussing the formation of state power structures. After all, how did it first happen that the federal authorities began “tugging the blanket” away from the regions? It began because the country’s unified executive power system was clearly not holding together. There was no unified system, and there still is none today. This means we have to build it. I agree that in the proposed construction the role, importance, authority and powers of the regional leaders should correspond to their level of responsibility. This is right and we need to make this a part of the general system of proposed measures.
We need to establish a balanced system of mutual relations within the framework of our Constitution. Finally, it is clear that in the areas of law enforcement and state security, all the measures taken to reinforce the law enforcement agencies and guarantee our citizens’ security – we already discussed these measures today and I won’t repeat what was already said – must be carefully considered and the corresponding decisions must be taken.
As for the question of registration and movement of people, we are, of course, facing special conditions, today we are a state without borders. There is no need for us to protect ourselves from Finland, for example, but in the south, where we face real danger, we have no borders at all. We must act carefully. We must remain a democratic country, but we also must, of course, react adequately to everything happening within the country and also understand the system of relations emerging on the international stage and the development prospects for a global security system.
I firmly believe that Russia should be and will be one of the main pillars of the international security system. But we will achieve this only if we remain a democratic state. This is why the system of measures to be taken, including measures to control the population, should meet the challenges we face today while being in keeping with the law and the Constitution.
In conclusion, I would like to assure you that it is no one’s desire to grab, take away or redistribute anything. We have only one desire, and that is to make our country an effectively functioning economic and political organism. I very much hope for your understanding on this question and for us to work together effectively and in a spirit of solidarity.
Thank you. I wish you all the best.