President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
Today, Monday, is the traditional day for our meetings, but we will not be holding our normal meeting today. This is the last time I meet with you in this capacity and in this format, and I have therefore asked you to come here today not to discuss business matters, but to thank you for our work together over these last eight years.
My words of thanks are addressed not only to those present in this room but also to our colleagues in the Presidential Executive Office and the Government of the Russian Federation who are not present today but who have worked together with us at various periods over these eight years and have all made their contribution to reviving the Russian economy, developing the social sector and strengthening our country’s defence capability.
We are about to celebrate May 9, Victory Day, a grand celebration, perhaps our people’s greatest holiday. As you know, the parade this year will include examples of our military hardware. This is not sabre rattling: we are not and have no intention of threatening anyone, and we do not seek to impose anything on anyone. We have everything we need. This is simply a demonstration of our growing defence capability, of the fact that we are now able to protect our people, our citizens, our country and our riches, which we have in great number.
But as far as you and I are concerned, we cannot rest on our laurels. The country stands before new and truly ambitious undertakings of great importance. We need to intensify our efforts in a whole series of crucial and interlinked areas: building an innovative economy and making state management more efficient, consolidating the pension system and implementing a new social development policy. We have ahead of us the implementation of a whole package of important initiatives in education, healthcare, rural development and housing policy.
Each of these tasks directly affects the future of millions of our people. Their current and future prospects depend to a great extent on the results of our work. Most important of all is that we must take a highly responsible attitude towards our work on Russia’s long-term development strategy and ensure full and thorough implementation of all the set objectives. I stress that this calls for us to be as organised and effective as possible. The authorities must work together just like a well-regulated and single mechanism.
I am sure that cooperation between the Presidential Executive Office and the Government staff will continue and become even closer. We have always achieved good results when we have succeeded in properly organising and coordinating our work.
I would like to conclude by wishing you all continued success for the good of Russia. Once again, I thank you all for your cooperation, support and help. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us and I am sure that you are all up to the task. I am sure that we will achieve our goals.
And, of course, I want to wish Dmitry Medvedev success.