President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, we are meeting in such an unusual format. Former regional governors and those who replaced you have come together here. We have never met in this format, but I think it makes sense to meet like this in order to show continuity and that young albeit already experienced governors can rely on what their predecessors did and not only rely but also hope for your support.
I remember one colleague who is present here once said that we will not interfere and this is right. It is necessary to make a new head of the region that bears tremendous responsibility for people, their prosperity and wellbeing, feel like a full-fledged leader of the region. Otherwise his work will not produce results. Let me repeat that at the same time he could rely on what was done before him, on your experience and knowledge.
I would like to see continuity of work in those areas that were obviously successful, and I am hoping this will be the case. There were many such areas and many successes scored by governors that left their positions.
I have already said this and would like to repeat: you worked in very difficult conditions and had many internal economic problems linked with lower prices on our traditional goods and external restrictions. In general, all governors coped with their duties and their work very well.
I would like to express the hope that while working in new positions, you will continue contributing to national development. I would also like to wish success to your colleagues. Naturally, I wish happy New Year holidays to all of you. Please accept my best wishes.