Gala concert to mark the 20th anniversary of Russian Constitution 2013-12-12 18:00:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin attended a gala concert to mark the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The Russian Constitution was adopted by popular vote on December 12, 1993. * * * Speech at gala concert to mark the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Russian Federation President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, friends, Today we are officially celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution. I congratulate you on the anniversary of our basic law. Its adoption became an enormous event for modern Russia and, I suppose, for the history of our nation. The Constitution played a key role in strengthening our nation’s sovereignty and the legitimacy of our government, creating a sound legal foundation for building the entire Russian legislation framework. The Constitution validated the unwavering priority of our people’s rights and freedoms and raised the status of the state itself, the status of our statehood, the status of our republics, territories and regions, to a new, democratic foundation. The ideas and provisions set forth in the Constitution were honed during heated discussions, with a clash of ideologies. And its very text was the result of joint efforts – efforts by politicians, public figures, law scholars, specialists and experts representing a wide range of viewpoints and outlooks. But they were united by one key objective; so they drew from our state’s historical traditions and looked toward the future. Their foresight and balanced approach are worthy of great respect. We recall that difficult period and we remember it as a time of political confrontation. But it is important to remember something else as well: 20 years ago, everyone who was working on the Constitution presented future generations with an extremely important lesson in solidarity. And we can be proud that, at the time, the necessary public consensus was achieved, for Russia’s sake, and we created a Constitution whose uniting ideas reconciled and consolidated Russian society. Our people made a historical choice in favour of the Constitution at the referendum on December 12, 1993. Russia got a directly effective document that allowed us to avoid the tragedy of the dissolution of our state, helped stop the devastating spread of civil confrontation, and prevented the nation from once again descending down the path of settling political accounts, as had already happened several times in our history. The Constitution opened a new, constructive path to development on the basis of clear goals, intentions and values. And today, we have every right to state that all the constitutional norms and provisions are in demand. You can open any chapter or article in the Constitution to see this for yourself. The Constitution is not just a collection of legal formulas. It represents a long-term strategy for Russia’s development, a foundation for strengthening public stability and achieving social harmony. And we have to coordinate all our plans and value navigators with the spirit and letter of the Constitution. Congratulations!