Presentation of state decorations 2022-02-02 14:40:00 Moscow, Kremlin The presentation of state decorations took place at the Kremlin’s St Catherine Hall. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends. I am sincerely happy to welcome you all to the Kremlin and to present state awards. Each of you has your own destiny, your own “life line”. But what all of you have in common is your dedication to working for the good of your native country, society, for the good of our citizens. Your achievements have opened up new horizons in various fields and continue to do so; they serve Russia’s modern development, make a great contribution to its successful future, and provide an example of dedication, duty, determination and daring to make difficult and often out-of-the-box decisions. Such an example is especially significant now, when both Russia and the world are going through the trials of the coronavirus pandemic. True, the situation remains difficult. But life goes on. Our solidarity, mutual assistance, and the positive events that can be seen as encouraging milestones are equally important now. The presentation of state honours is just such an event – an expression of deep gratitude to our worthy fellow citizens. Nuclear physicist Yevgeny Velikhov, full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, has devoted his long and diverse professional career to genuine service to the Motherland. A renowned scientist, who has headed the famous Kurchatov Institute for many years, he has earned indisputable weight and respect in our society. It is also Mr Velikhov's birthday – he turned 87 today. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all the best and congratulate you on this state award. Yevgeny Krutov, a second-generation test pilot, has rightfully deserved his Hero of the Russian Federation Star. When his fighter jet caught fire, he risked his life to steer it away from residential buildings. Of course, medical workers became real heroes to us, to the Russian public at large, to society and our people during the pandemic. We began to understand the special significance of the work of doctors, nurses, and paramedics and all those who have dedicated themselves to this noble career. Leading professionals are present here. Your selfless work and scientific quest help save lives and facilitate the development of healthcare in the interests of our people. The name of Academician Ivan Dedov is well-known in this country and abroad. An endocrinologist of world renown, he elevated assistance to people with diabetes and other dangerous diseases to an entirely new level. The same is true of our work. From the first days of the pandemic, Maryana Lysenko, the Head Physician of Moscow City Clinical Hospital No. 52, became an example of complete self-devotion, and she embodies the professional and personal qualities that a medical practitioner should possess. Andrei Kaprin, a talented organiser and an oncology surgeon, strives to do everything possible and impossible to save human lives. This is his professional and human motto. He is one of the co-authors and co-initiators of a large-scale programme to combat oncological diseases, now being implemented in this country. The Federal Medical Biological Agency, headed by Veronika Skvortsova, has been working in an extremely difficult and intensive way all this time. I would like to cordially thank all our medical workers, including those who are receiving awards today, and hundreds of thousands of your colleagues and friends who selflessly serve their profession, society, the country and the people. Loyalty to our values, which are vividly and broadly reflected in national culture, has always helped us overcome any trials and ordeals. Viktor Zakharchenko and Pyotr Shaboltai have devoted themselves to work in this sphere. Vitaly Ignatenko has accomplished a lot to strengthen Russia’s cultural space and support our compatriots abroad. Friends, A solid basis for improving the quality and standard of living of the people, undoubtedly the basis for everything is the sustainable development of the economy itself, including the work of key industries and backbone companies. They have a great responsibility both for carrying out fundamentally important tasks within the country, for social obligations, and for strengthening Russia’s capacity as a whole, including its export capacity and its position in foreign markets. And today, high awards will be presented to Alexei Miller, CEO of Gazprom, and Nikolai Tokarev, President of Transneft. In general, I would like to note that the domestic fuel and energy sector shows good dynamics today, making a significant contribution to national economic growth. Our common progress is, of course, made up of the success of many enterprises, industries, design bureaus, and research centres, of their increased efficiency and competitiveness. Viktor Polyakov’s labour and professional efforts are directed at solving precisely such problems. He is in charge of the development of engines, notably for aviation, including our promising MS-21 airliner. Dear friends, I repeat, your achievements evoke a feeling of the sincerest pride and give confidence that the history of Russia's successes and outstanding accomplishments will certainly be continued. I heartily congratulate you on your well-deserved awards. I wish you good health, of course. And I wish the very best to you and your families. Thank you. <…> Vladimir Putin: My dear friends, Regarding the Orthodox world, His Grace Illarion said, “We did not create it, and it is not for us to destroy.” Of course. I can say this about the entire Russian world, which is, like our country (strange as it may sound at first, but this is the case) multi-religious and multi-ethnic. The Russian world is so diverse and enormous. We did not create it. Our mission is to strengthen it, develop it and make it attractive for our citizens and for the rest of the world. And we can do this and are doing this owing to people like you, owing to your personal efforts. Our deepest gratitude to you. All the best. I congratulate you on receiving the state awards.