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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Text of Putin's New Year Address

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This is the full text of President Vladimir Putin's New Year's address. The president recorded the speech in the afternoon in Moscow, and it was broadcast to finish as midnight struck in each of the country's 11 time zones.

Good evening. Respected colleagues and dear friends, ladies and gentlemen, only a few hours are left before the new millennium. To witness a transition like this is more than just a gift of fate. There is time left to see how we match up to the new era, to this great crossroads of the ages.

Like the rest of the world, Russia has done its preparations to meet this date. And we have done a lot together, though, perhaps, not as fast as we would have liked. We are, however, advancing towards better things and we are celebrating the new era on our way up. That is fact.

We can now say today that we chose the direction of our advance correctly and calculated our strengths correctly also. Our achievements include political and economic stability, economic growth, prosperity for the people, strengthened statehood and strengthened law and order.

They also include an open foreign policy, the acquisition of new friends and the regaining of old ones. We have not wasted our energy on senseless disputes or gossip. We have got down to action. We have realized that all of us have a common duty to the country.

Of course, each of us citizens of Russia has his own ideas about the future, about happiness and about prosperity. However, the successes and the problems of our homeland and its destiny are of no less concern to us than our own personal ones. In the final analysis that is the main point.

Russia is part of an immense world, a world that is changing rapidly as we watch, While we change with it, while we change our country, we cherish our own traditions too.

Dear friends, we are to enter the first year of the new millennium to the music of the newly approved state anthem and we are to listen to words that extol our native land. This anthem is more than just a symbol. It is not possible to live without it, or, at least, it is not possible for a state such as ours to live without it and feel itself to be a complete state. The approval of the anthem is an important indication that we have finally managed to bridge the disparity between past and present.

I am absolutely convinced that one cannot be in permanent contradiction with one's own history and the destiny of one's own country. [Anthem sung by choir, applause] Dear friends, the achievement of the past year is made up of the success of each one of us. With all my heart I wish to thank those who made their contribution to our national wealth, all those who defended our peace, those who lifted up our economy and our common spirit and those who made the year 2000 a year of the stability and the unity of Russia.

Concern for the homeland was what united us. May it also strengthen us in the new century. I propose a toast to the Russian people, to prosperity in every Russian house. Happy New Year to you.