President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Hello everyone,
Today, we are here at the Winners’ Forum. All of you – everyone present here – are winners, not only the winners of the awards presented here, but also in areas and fields where you are involved and in activities that you engage.
I am very happy to see such remarkable people standing here on this stage today. You know, when talking about youth, many older, serious people like to say things like ‘your lives are still ahead of you; you represent our future’. I must say you are also part of our present. You are already playing a very active role in the development of our nation and you are working for the good of our state. Perhaps what’s most important is for our nation to become stronger and more powerful. And this can only be accomplished by our youth.
Gathered here today is an enormous number of young people who are engaged in their favourite activities and professions – things that they enjoy doing in life. They include representatives of security agencies, people who protect our nation, as well as college students, graduate students, workers, researchers, entrepreneurs and people of arts. But all of you represent our vast and strong nation. I am very happy that we are presenting the Breakthrough awards here in this special atmosphere.
You know, we really strive hard to change our country, to make it modern and economically developed. Our progress must not be based on merely the natural resources we have in our nation, on extraction of oil and gas, although it is good that we have them. Our strength must not be based on missile arsenals alone, although it is good that we have them as they help us maintain our might, but on a modern, smart economy. Our entire state must comply with this smart economy and the state must also change on a daily basis, our political system, economy, and democratic institutions must all change. And it is up to you to demand such changes as the state will only evolve in line with your demands.
I would like to once again congratulate the winners on behalf of everyone present here, of everyone who passionately supported their fellows, of all the supporters. I would like to say that even though the Year of Youth is coming to a close, the accelerating national development will continue as it is not a result of time-framed slogans or declarations.
We will not cease our current efforts of making our nation strong and powerful. This will require your energy, the energy of young people such as the ones here today who are welcoming the winners.
I am certain that we can achieve new victories.
Congratulations. I wish you all happiness.