President Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon dear friends!
For several decades now this hall, the Kremlin’s Catherine Hall, has been used to hold ceremony events. And people that we count among Russia’s most outstanding citizens have gathered here during all of these years. These are people who improve and strengthen Russia, ensure its success, uncover and enrich Russia’s economic, cultural, and scientific potential.
At such times one is especially struck by how much depends on individuals. On the life goals someone has set for herself, on how she attains these goals, on a person’s civic consciousness and, to a large degree, the character and determination of these people.
Today’s event was no exception. Really outstanding, accomplished and proficient people are gathered in this hall.
Your courage and heroism strengthens the sovereignty and security of our country. And here I would especially like to single out the senior test pilot Aleksandr Mikhailovich Klimov, who will receive the decoration Gold Star of the Hero of Russia today.
The state and society highly appreciate the director of the Agat institute for scientific research, Iosif Grigorevich Akopian, and academician Andrei Viktorovich Gaponov-Grekhov. They once again proved Russia’s intellectual superiority in the world and the achievements of Russian science. And by promoting a given scientific idea they created the innovative programmes and technology that Russia needs.
Many of those present in this hall have devoted all their forces, knowledge and experience to their students, and thereby helped prepare Russia’s future. Indeed, to no small degree, Russia’s future depends on the spirituality and moral values of Russian youth and children. The missionary activities of Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad serve as vivid examples of this endeavor.
Our artistic masters have always played a huge role in the life of Russia and Russians. And the special, fine appreciation of people, time and events is something they were born with. And today we really have stars among us. And among them, there is a woman that one could say is prima in all. I am, of course, referring to Maia Mikhailovna Plisetskaia.
I must note that a special atmosphere always reigns in this hall. But today this is also because of the coming New Year – the expectation of a remarkable and much loved holiday and a time for taking stock of the past and making new plans.
The results of your professional achievements have had an important, huge influence on the country’s life, on all Russian people.
And prior to this holiday I would like to wish that the creative energy and inspiration to constantly strive for the heights will always remain with you and assist you in both your life and work.
I am confident that the most significant discoveries and the most courageous breakthrough endeavors are still ahead, and may you always have success.
Thank you very much for your attention.