The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister and member of the Bureau of the United Russia party Supreme Council Sergei Shoigu, Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Anna Kuznetsova, Head Physician of City Clinical Hospital No. 40 of the Moscow Healthcare Department Denis Protsenko, Head of the Sirius Educational Centre and the Talent and Success foundation, member of the Presidential Council for Science and Education Yelena Shmeleva.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
I am delighted to see all of you, and it is exactly in this format that I wanted to meet with you. We have met in a broader format before the State Duma elections that you, the leaders of the party list, took part in. And now I would like to congratulate you on United Russia’s convincing victory at the election to the State Duma of the 8th convocation, and to thank you as the party’s leaders for this commendable result of the election campaign. It certainly reflects the high level of trust that people have in the party, its practical actions for the good of Russia and our society. Of course, the party gets quite a few complaints, which is normal for a ruling party; this is inevitable, this is how it should be. But the main thing is that people trust those they vote for. And the main thing is that you are working for the health, welfare and safety of the people. People are aware of this.
Every one of you has certainly made a huge personal contribution to the election success of the party. Some of you are prominent people who are very well known in the country, who have earned respect in society with your work and talent. Of course, it was not only your authority and services that influenced the choice people made. You also played a very active part in the election campaign, which involved practical efforts, and, crucially, people could see that you really love our country and want to improve the situation; they saw that you do care for the national interests and traditional values of our homeland. They took your statements and opinions into account, as well as your services to the country, as I have already mentioned, and they saw that your positions and views were competent, honest and sincere.
You have also greatly contributed to the development of the party’s election agenda and you gave the necessary amount of attention, special attention to it during the election campaign, telling people about the plans you will be implementing together with our society.
It is important that the party has indicated its striving for internal development and renewal, which is certainly what society needs. It is also important that the party put on its list both respected and distinguished people, as I have already mentioned, including those with a long service record in parliament, and also young people, whose actions hold promise and who, undoubtedly, deserve to be representatives of the people in our supreme legislative body. Based on the election results, the United Russia party faction may be renewed by almost 50 percent.
Of course, the party sustained certain losses compared to 2016, as I have mentioned, which is inevitable, especially in a period that included the severe test of the pandemic, a decline in people’s incomes, a decrease in production and an increase in the number of people who lost their jobs – all of this was inevitable per se. Nevertheless, the party retained its leading position, which is extremely important; moreover, considering the success of its candidates in single-mandate electoral districts, the party will again have a constitutional majority in the State Duma. This is an important, a significant achievement and an earnest of continuity and sustainable development of the country, which is important for the country as well.
In light of the situation, it is understandable that those who were in the United Russia headquarters shouted “Hurray!” – I could hear that, I saw this with my own eyes. However, colleagues and friends, this is what I would like to point out: the meaning of this victorious battle cry can differ. It is one thing when the goal has been achieved and we are standing on the ruins of the defeated enemy fortress, when victory is ours. But it is another matter when we are only charging, going into the attack, resolved to win, but have not yet done everything to attain victory – this is precisely the current situation.
The party still has a great deal of work ahead at the federal and regional levels, actually in every city and village. I know that you will continue defending the interests of your voters, acting differently in different places, but holding high positions, one way or another, in the representative bodies of the party, working to implement the programme that has been described, with good reason, as the people’s programme, because it is based on the proposals our citizens submitted.
It seems reasonable to me that you will chair the commissions of United Russia that have been established by the party for specific purposes. Sergei Shoigu, who has told me about the development of Eastern Siberia on numerous occasions and has also announced his plans for the whole country to hear, will chair a party commission on the development of Eastern Siberia. Sergei Lavrov will chair a commission on international cooperation and support of compatriots living abroad. Incidentally, there is a great deal to be done in this sphere, namely, improving the migration policy and attracting Russian speakers, people of the same culture to the country. There are many details in this sphere that are hindering efficient progress towards our goal. Yelena Shmeleva will chair a commission on education and science, Denis Protsenko, a commission on healthcare, while Anna Kuznetsova will chair a commission on maternity, child protection and family support, and will also directly coordinate our efforts in this sphere in the State Duma.
I am confident that these party commissions will help us structure our efforts so that the election mandate and the people’s programme of the party as a whole will be implemented in full.
I would like to once again thank you for your responsible and efficient work during the elections and to express hope that you will continue working energetically in the future as well.
I wish you every success.