President Vladimir Putin: We have gathered today to celebrate our national holiday, the Day of Russia.
Today we are conscious of our common aims, conscious of our historical roots and our common desire to be of use to our homeland.
The early 1990s ushered in a new era for Russia and its people – an era of free and democratic development. It was at that moment that the foundations were laid for giving our country a genuine federative system and for ensuring constitutional guarantees for our citizens’ rights and protection of their property. Over the 15 years that followed, our country made a formative transition in the fullest sense. The cardinal changes that have taken place in every area of our society have now become an integral part of our life. The Russian people made this choice in favour of free development, spiritual and creative development, development for all our citizens, and the Russian people have made this choice a reality.
That is why we chose this day, the Day of Russia, to confer the Russian Federation National Awards. These awards, a mark of the highest recognition for services to the state and to our people, have been given to outstanding sons and daughters of our country. They have attained unprecedented creative and intellectual heights, have contributed to the development of the most advanced technology and knowledge and have considerably enriched our science and arts through their invaluable talent and effort. Their achievements not only raise our country’s prestige but also bear witness to our society’s vast potential, and this is why we place such great value on an attentive and mutually beneficial dialogue between the state and the creative, scientific and education community, and will take consistent steps to develop this interaction. I think that this official event to honour our most worthy citizens could become, and I hope, will become one of the new traditions in our celebrations of the Day of Russia.
We really are in a position today to be able to pursue and reach qualitatively new objectives. These goals include far-reaching economic modernisation, a qualitatively new approach to science and education, developing an affordable housing market and comprehensive upgrading of our production and transport infrastructure. We will continue to work on improving the social sphere and expanding opportunities for free enterprise and business activity.
We must continue developing our political system and the institutions of real democracy, work confidently and consistently on building a fair and open society, consolidating the rule of law and ensuring our state’s responsibility and accountability to our citizens at every level of power. All of us want to see a Russia that is a prosperous, free, strong and influential nation.
These common desires unite us, give us strength and open up ever-new opportunities to reach the national goals and objectives called for by the entire nation.
I would like to wish you all success in this endeavour, success in this work for the good of our country.