President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, friends,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you and wish you a Happy 2016. There are signs of the approaching holiday everywhere, and it feels like there is no need to even look at the calendar.
It is wonderful that we mark such a warm holiday as the New Year during the winter season, and as it approaches, we traditionally summarise the past year, make plans, compare them to what has already been done and feel full of resolve to achieve even more.
There were many events in this past year, but the most significant was certainly the 70th anniversary of our people’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War. We marked this sacred date by paying our respects to the older generation, our fathers and grandfathers. The fate of the victors’ generation inspires us to this day.
It is very important that Russian society remains cohesive in this difficult period, that we work in unity and are always ready, despite any trials, to defend our core values, to protect national interests and our country’s security.
These sincere feelings towards the Fatherland, this pride towards our nation, fill our lives with great meaning. The striving to make an input into Russia’s development is becoming a matter of pride for millions of people. They must be confident that their efforts, work and creative search will receive support of the authorities, at all levels of government, that we are all working for the common good, so that life changes for the better.
Friends, I would like to sincerely thank you for your work. Each of you here today in this room, at this New Year’s reception, has accomplishments and results of your own – professional, military, cultural, scientific or humanitarian achievements. I wish for you to continue achieving impressive results, to be open to all new and progressive developments, and to benefit Russia.
I think we should now take our minds off our everyday worries and affairs, to relax, spend time with friends, and charge ourselves with light, positive emotions. Incidentally, I think many of you will agree with me, it is easier to tackle any challenge with that kind of attitude – and we are facing many challenges.
I want to once again wish you a very happy New Year with all my heart. I wish you health, happiness and joy. Let us raise our glasses to Russia, to success in all our endeavours for the common good.