Also attending the gala event were Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, his spouse Svetlana Medvedeva, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino and spouse, and Naina Yeltsina.
After the performance, Vladimir Putin met with Bolshoi Theatre soloists who starred in The Nutcracker ballet and the Theatre’s directors. The President wished the company a Happy New Year and further creative success.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen,
We are holding our traditional, pre-New Year or pre-holiday meeting in an unusual format. Here, within the walls of this theatre, I would like to thank the Bolshoi Theatre for its hospitality and its company for the wonderful gift they have prepared for us.
The magical ballet The Nutcracker, the fairy tale feeling that will reign supreme on stage, has long been one of the brightest symbols of the holiday season beginning in December, and the New Year and Christmas. There is no doubt that the joyful, airy feeling of this event, the wonderful music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and the brilliant performance by the artists, which we will now see on stage, will leave everyone with the most pleasant and warm impressions.
Of course, bidding farewell to another year, the year 2018, we review the results and look to the future, making new plans for the future as usual. The outgoing year was unique and different for every person, but it united our society and our citizens in events that were important for all of Russia. I am referring to the domestic political calendar, major domestic political events and, certainly, the implementation of major, landmark projects such as the Crimean Bridge and the World Cup that we conducted brilliantly. In general, we worked together for the consolidation and prosperity of our homeland.
I would like to express special gratitude to all those who took an active part in the Year of the Volunteer: today we held a conference at the Kremlin with our regional colleagues on this occasion along with representatives of the volunteer movement and socially-oriented non-governmental organisations. And I would like to address special words of gratitude to this particular category of our citizens who are wholeheartedly helping others through charity, and who carry out and support educational and creative projects. Needless to say, we will continue this work even though the Year of the Volunteer is coming to a close.
I would like to express gratitude to our army personnel, soldiers and officers for their valour and courage, and professional actions both in Russia and during various events, exercises and the implementation of combat assignments, including missions abroad. I would like to thank our colleagues in federal, regional and municipal government bodies for their effective work to raise the quality of life and the living standards of our citizens.
Contributions to the development of this large, multi-ethnic country were made by scientists and doctors, teachers and entrepreneurs, representatives of public organisations and artists, all citizens of our Fatherland. The main point is that we are ready to move forward with confidence, to respond to any challenge, to resolve even the most complicated tasks, to make breakthroughs and to achieve success for the benefit of the homeland, for the benefit of Russia and its people. I am sure that we will act in the same vein in the future.
I wish all of you health, love, happiness, peace and prosperity of our great homeland.
Happy holidays to you, and a happy upcoming 2019.