Citizens of Russia, ladies and gentlemen, friends,
I salute all the citizens of our great nation and compatriots living abroad, all those who are watching the broadcast of this ceremony and all those present here today, in the historic halls of the Kremlin and on the ancient Cathedral Square.
As I am about to take office as the President of Russia, I am keenly aware of the immense responsibility towards each and every one of you, and towards our entire multi-ethnic nation. I am aware of my responsibility towards Russia, a country of magnificent victories and accomplishments, towards the history of the Russian state that goes back centuries and towards our ancestors. Their courage, relentless work, undefeatable unity, and the way they sanctified their homeland are eternal examples of their dedication to their Fatherland.
I believe that it is my duty and the meaning of my entire life to do everything for Russia, its present and future, to ensure that it is peaceful and prosperous, to preserve and perpetuate our great people, and bring prosperity to every household in Russia. Let me assure you that just as before I will devote my life and my work to serving the people and our Fatherland. This is my outmost aspiration.
I would like to thank the citizens of Russia for their unity, for believing that together we can change many things for the better. Let me extend my gratitude to you one more time. Thank you for the sincere support I received from the citizens of Russia at the presidential election. I view this support as a huge political asset and a reliable moral backing. This support is a sign of faith and a sign of hope that Russia will continue to build up its strength while its people will live better. This support is also essential for asserting our positions on the international stage and for taking resolute action for promoting far-reaching, positive change within the country.
Russia must be a modern and vibrant country ready to take up the challenges of time and respond to them with all its energy in order to consistently build up its leadership in areas where our positions have been traditionally strong. At the same time, we need to work with confidence and diligence and to harness all our willpower in areas where we have yet to achieve the results we aspire to, where a lot has yet to be done.
The way forward is never easy. It is always a challenging journey. But there is only one thing history never forgives: indifference and inconsistency, slackness and complacency, which rings especially true today, at this turning point in history, as the entire world is undergoing rapid change.
The objectives we face and the decisions we will be called upon to take are without exaggeration historic in their scale. They will determine the future of our Fatherland for decades to come. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us that will require the entire Russian society to come together. Every one of us, all responsible political forces and civil society movements, united by the fact that they sincerely care for Russia, must be proactive in these efforts.
We need breakthroughs in all areas of life. I strongly believe that only a free society that is open to all new and cutting-edge advances, while rejecting injustice, ignorance, crass conservatism and bureaucratic red tape, is callable of achieving these breakthroughs. We must cast aside everything that constrains people, prevents them from fully unleashing their potential and their talents, becoming a barrier for the development of the entire nation.
Friends, this year we will be marking the 25th anniversary of the Russian Constitution. It stresses the unconditional primacy and priority of the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens. It is the harmony between free individuals, responsible civil society and a strong, active and democratic state that creates a solid foundation for the development of Russia.
We have coped with the most difficult economic and social problems. We have realised that, while changing with the world, we should not break away from our own roots, our own history and multinational culture. We have understood that all our beauty and strength are in our distinctness and unity. We have learned to uphold our interests and revived pride in our homeland and our traditional values. Experience shows that today, too, we must cherish what has been achieved and, based on this to move only forward.
Of course, we should keep pace with the global changes and organise our breakthrough development agenda so that no obstacles or circumstances could prevent us from determining our future on our own and only on our own and from implementing our boldest plans and dreams. But at the same time, we are open to dialogue. Along with our partners, we will actively promote our integration projects and build up business, humanitarian, cultural and scientific ties.
We are in favour of equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation with all states in the interests of peace and stability on our planet.
Russia is a strong, active and influential participant in international life; the country’s security and defence capability are reliably assured. We will continue to pay the necessary, close attention to these issues.
But now, we must use all the opportunities available to us primarily to address the most vital domestic development objectives, to achieve an economic and technological breakthrough, and to enhance competitiveness in the spheres that determine the future. A new quality of life, wellbeing, security and health are what constitutes our main goals and the focus of our policies. Our reference point is Russia for the people, a country of opportunities for self-fulfilment for each person.
I strongly believe that everyday challenges people face and demands they have are directly linked to the goals we have as a nation. In fact, this is the only way to put in place the needed conditions for promoting creativity and development, and creating an atmosphere of shared responsibility, support and trust in society, which is essential.
Every person must understand that only our proactive engagement in the country’s affairs can add new momentum to renewal. No one will do it for us, since all of us, the citizens of Russia, are the main force of change.
The more people in all walks of life, professions and authority realise the importance of the role they must play in improving how we live, the more effective and rapid will our progress be.
State and municipal authorities have a special responsibility. People have every right to expect matters that cause them concern to be resolved without delay, to have their proposals, observations and demands treated with due attention, so that such things as reputation, honour, generosity and openness become a norm of life for the officials at all levels of government.
We must give more freedom to entrepreneurs and researchers, to creative and active people who care, and to all who want to reinvent the world. For me, this is a guarantee of continuity in our strategy and efforts to promote steady development in Russia. I look forward to novel ideas and approaches, to the audacity of young people and their ability to lead the change.
I hope that young people will remain true to the values of truth and justice that guided the older generation, and that the knowledge, experience and wisdom of the preceding generations will be relevant for today’s young.
By having all people who care for their country and its future work together we will definitely deliver on our objectives and achieve breakthroughs in research and technology. Together, we can bring to fruition large-scale initiatives to upgrade and improve cities and villages and develop regions across Russia. We will be proactive in conducting a modern social policy that caters to the needs of every individual and every Russian household, improves the quality of education and healthcare. We will pay special attention to supporting the traditional family values, motherhood and childhood, so that more and more wanted and healthy babies are born in Russia who go on to become smart and talented people. It will be they, our children, who will take up our efforts to develop the country, and achieve even greater success than their parents, while respecting the history of our Fatherland.
As head of state I will do everything to build up Russia’s might, prosperity and glory, and to live up to the expectations and hopes of the country’s citizens.
We know that in the 1990s and early 2000s, apart from the far-reaching and necessary historical changes, our homeland and its people went through harsh challenges. Much, though far from all has been restored. Not all the wounds of the past have been healed yet, not all challenges have been overcome. There are new complex tasks ahead of us, and we will have to work hard to deliver on them. We have to act without delay.
That said, we remember all too well that throughout its history, which reaches back centuries, Russia faced a number of dark periods and challenges, and rose like a phoenix from the ashes every time, achieving heights that seemed unattainable to others. Those challenges served as a stepping stone for Russia, setting the stage for the next major breakthrough.
I am confident that we will achieve a breakthrough this time as well, since we are a powerful team that can deliver on any tasks, even the most daunting ones. Let the love for the Fatherland and all the best there is in people inspire each and every one of us to improve ourselves in order to succeed as individuals and for the benefit of our families, and to work hard for the benefit of our homeland.
There is no doubt that we will succeed! This is what I believe. I will do everything in my power to achieve this.