President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues and friends.
We have just attended a ceremony marking Russian National Flag Day, and I want to congratulate all Russian citizens on this occasion.
The flag and the anthem are symbols of any state, including ours, which assert our country’s independence, sovereignty and the continuity of our traditions, and to a certain extent, are the moral foundation of Russian statehood.
This is a good, pleasant, momentous event.
However, we have gathered today not only on this occasion, but primarily to speak about preparations for the United Russia party congress. You recall what we spoke about in June, and now, at this current stage, it is crucial to check and see what has been done and what has yet to be done.
The party’s programme we discussed back in June is an important and fundamental document. But it is also a living document, which should react to developments in the country and around the world. And there have been a lot of developments, life is pacing along fairly quickly and sets new tasks before us, to which we must respond.
I suggest we speak about all those issues. Let me reiterate, nothing of what was spoken about in June must be forgotten, and we had a whole set of very important steps in the social sphere, the economy and family support: I will not be listing them all now. Let us speak about where we are now, as we recall all that, and about what appears to be most urgent and should be discussed at the congress in order to take the necessary decisions.
I think it is a crucial, non-formal point because I expect that United Russia, regardless of the hurdles in the country’s development during the pandemic, related to numerous job losses, the well-known growth in inflation and blows to the real incomes of our citizens, all of which are very serious matters… However, what United Russia has accomplished recently – and it has accomplished a lot – is that we have gone through this period in a much better fashion and much more efficiently than many of the developed economies in the world and developed countries. We have practically completely restored pre-crisis levels in the economy. It sets the foundation for us to resolve the issues I just mentioned that have emerged recently or in the past year.
This is what we should definitely discuss and I really expect United Russia to retain its positions and have the possibility to take legislative decisions in the interests of the nation.
Let us speak about that now.