Taking part in the videoconference meeting with the President were large families from the Voronezh Region, Murmansk, Yalta, Beslan, Saransk, Nizhnevartovsk, Norilsk and Yakutsk.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
First of all, I would like to congratulate you and all citizens of our country on International Children’s Day.
I would like to give special greetings to the large and close-knit families who are taking part in our meeting today. I am confident that children are proud that their fathers and mothers have been awarded one of the most important and honorary state decorations in Russia, the Order of Parental Glory.
Your relatives and friends feel proud of you as well. Our society highly and wholeheartedly respects the couples that have chosen the difficult but wonderful path of having a large family. This attitude is part of our national character. It is rooted in our thousand-year-long history. Families with only one or two children were an exception in Russia in the past, when most families had three, four or five children.
It is gratifying that the tradition of having large families is reviving today, gradually and one step at a time, and increasingly more people are becoming aware of the high moral and spiritual value of family ties and the continuity of generations, and of merits that look simple and understandable yet are extremely important to everyone, namely respect for our elders and care for children, mutual support and the joy of communication. I would like to point out that these are the fundamental values of all the traditional religions in Russia.
Those who were born into and grew up in large families with their brothers and sisters feel and know this from childhood. Spiritual generosity and diligence, open-heartedness and responsibility become their main features and determine their decisions and actions when they become adults and independent people. You can usually rely on those who grew up in a large family. They will not betray their friends, colleagues or homeland.
This is why large families are respected so much in our society, and this is why the state is giving priority support to them, creating conditions where parents and grandparents, tutors or foster parents can take proper care of the rising generation and help children acquire knowledge, nurture their talents, believe in themselves, think big and grow up to be well-educated and upright people, worthy citizens of Russia.
We spoke about the need to enhance the wellbeing and living standards of large families at the recent State Council Presidium meeting. Maybe you have noticed this. We then discussed support measures for families with many children. For example, the programme providing subsidised family mortgages for large families will be extended until at least December 31, 2023. This is a programme for these families, and that includes your families. In general, we agreed to seriously upgrade and expand the provisions of the Presidential Executive Order On Measures of Social Support for Large Families. We also agreed to restore – I want to specifically note this – the Mother Heroine honorary title, which existed in Soviet times.
Here is what I would like to suggest. We have just discussed this issue with our colleagues in the Government and the Executive Office. Previously, awarding the Order of Parental Glory medal did not involve a financial bonus. I am referring specifically to the medal of the order. I suggest introducing a lump sum payment as a bonus. There was a lump sum payment of 100,000 rubles for the order but nothing for the medal. I suggest a lump sum payment of 200,000 rubles for the medal. With the Order of Parental Glory, I suggest awarding a lump sum payment of 500,000 rubles with it instead of the previous 100,000 rubles. As for the mothers that are awarded the Mother Heroine title, I suggest that they receive a lump sum payment of one million rubles.
I will repeat that supporting families with children and protecting motherhood and childhood are an absolute priority for us and not only at state level. We do not, we should not have children that are not ours. Special care and attention to their needs is part of our cultural and moral values.
Today, on International Children’s Day we cannot but recall the children of Donbass, of course. They were subjected to mortal danger for eight years. The younger children have never experienced life without bombing and shelling. Many were wounded and many, to our great regret, perished in the war unleashed by the Kiev regime against Donbass. Many children lost their parents and there are some who have been left without any relatives at all.
We will do all we can to provide them with every kind of social support, such as medical aid, a good education and an interesting in-demand profession. Naturally, we will help children who have lost their families to acquire loving, friendly and generous families like yours.
Using this opportunity, I would like to hear from you, friends, what measures on the part of the state, regions and local authorities are most important for supporting large families. What concrete additional assistance you specifically or parents of many children from among your relatives, friends or neighbours need.
I would like to sincerely congratulate you on the well-deserved decorations and wish you all the best in life.
But first, I would like to congratulate the Novikovs family on their daughter’s birthday – Anastasia is 16 today. Nastya, I wish you success in all of your undertakings, good health and all the best.
I am pleased to give the floor to Maria Lvova-Belova.
Ms Lvova-Belova, go ahead please.
Vladimir Putin: Many thanks to everyone.
You know, this is not the first time I hear: “We are fine, we are content with everything.” The thing is that government officials cannot be content with themselves because we are obviously indebted to you, to such families as yours. It is necessary to enhance support for large families and for motherhood and childhood in general. But if you have paid attention, we are trying to do this year in and year out and are consistently developing support measures on behalf of the state.
I would like to thank you for the kind words you said to my colleagues and me.
Indeed, the country has many problems, but there are always many problems and in this sense, nothing unusual is happening here. That said, what we are seeing in the area related to ensuring national security and support of our people in Donbass is, of course, an extraordinary situation. Nonetheless, some fundamentals are transient, and some things require our permanent attention no matter what. One of the latter is support for motherhood and childhood. It is in this area that the state is concentrating certain administrative and financial efforts. I can assure you that this is how it is going to be in the future.
I would like to offer my best wishes to you on this holiday – Children’s Day – and to congratulate all the participants in our current meeting on their state decorations.
Thank you and all the best to you!