President Vladimir Putin: Dear colleagues, dear Mintimer Sharipovich [Shaimiev],
I am not going to pretend that yesterday’s State Council Presidium meeting and today’s event are mere coincidence. We planned this deliberately, of course, our colleagues, the regional leaders, and I. I can see here today members of parliament and of the government. We planned this deliberately and met specially in Kazan yesterday with your jubilee today in mind. This is no chance event because the President of Tatarstan is among the regional leaders who without any doubt also count among our national-level politicians and leaders.
Over your years of work in Tatarstan you have turned the republic into one of the country’s leading regions and have earned a reputation as an influential and respected politician. You are appreciated in Russia for your wisdom, decency and for the thoroughness you display in word and deed. You practise what you preach and this is a quality not often found among politicians, but it is inherent in the President of Tatarstan.
As I already said, you count undoubtedly among our country’s national political leaders and you have made a great personal contribution to building a genuinely federal state in Russia. You have always defended the unity of the Russian state.
To speak frankly, the country was on the razor’s edge during the very difficult transition years of the early 1990s. We were building a democratic state for the first time. There was a lot that was new on this road, a lot that had not been possible before, and, as we remember well, there were also many dramatic moments. We should not forget that it was precisely politicians such as the leader of Tatarstan who played a positive and constructive part in transforming our country.
Mintimer Sharipovich, you are distinguished by your quiet confidence and the conviction you show in your work. This has a positive influence on your colleagues here in Tatarstan and on many of your colleagues in the country as a whole. Your ability to feel and take into consideration the public mood, carry on a dialogue with the public and propose compromise solutions has helped preserve peace and stability not only in Tatarstan but has had a positive impact on the development of events in Russia in general.
Tatarstan today has achieved a high level of harmony between its different religions and peoples.
The republic is developing successfully and is one of the mainstays of the Russian economy and an example of a caring and empathetic approach to people. Tatarstan is one of the country’s leading regions in terms of its basic social and economic indicators.
Time goes on and priorities change, but the approach to finding solutions in Tatarstan remains the same. This is an approach based on pragmatism, strict achievement of the goals set, and, very importantly, conscious support for national initiatives and priorities. We see this approach in action and value it.
There can be no doubt that this work is being pursued not only for the benefit of Tatarstan’s people but for the might and unity of our entire country and in the name of preserving stability in Russian society as a whole.
It is obvious that the President of Tatarstan’s clear position plays a large part in this achievement. It is a position based on responsibility, conviction and will. I have noticed that you never try to hide in the shadows, that you never remain silent and that you defend your position, even when it appears controversial at first glance. And you do this openly and honestly. This is why people understand you and ultimately support you, and the result, as a rule, is good.
I thank you sincerely for your immense work and your great sense of duty. I thank you for not just feeling the rhythm and mood of the times but for doing everything to make your native Tatarstan and our entire vast country prosper, grow stronger and become self-sufficient, so that Russia be a great and powerful nation.
I would like to congratulate you on this jubilee, and on this day of celebration I award you the Order for Service to the Fatherland first degree.
Mintimer Shaimiev: Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, dear guests,
All of the leaders of our republic, our scientific, cultural and business leaders, representatives of the different religions present in our republic and members of public and political party organisations have all gathered in this historic hall today for this celebration.
Vladimir Vladimirovich, these are the people who, as you noted, ensure our political and economic stability. On their behalf, on my own behalf and on behalf of our republic’s multiethnic people, I would like to thank you from all my heart for your high assessment of our common work, the work of everyone in Tatarstan, a labour aimed at ensuring progress in our republic and in the entire Russian Federation.
This high state decoration is above all a mark of great respect for Tatarstan and its people. It is a mark of your relations with us, with me, and the understanding and trust that bind us to serve the Fatherland in our undertakings as we have been entrusted with doing, bearing responsibility for everything that happens in our country, in the Russian Federation.
Indeed, life advances so rapidly and it is wonderfully pleasing to see how Russia has grown stronger and taken its place over these last years. This is even starting to cause worry in some quarters, but as you have always said, we cannot afford to be weak. Our place is that of a strong nation, a vast country with immense wealth, wealth that belongs to the multiethnic people of the Russian Federation. Here in Tatarstan, people have begun of late to declare “we can do it” louder and clearer and with greater pride. When the entire population says “we can do it”, we can be sure that it will indeed be done.
Thank you very much.