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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Touts '04 in New Year's Speech

APPutin attending a children's concert at the home museum of composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky in Klin on Orthodox Christmas on Friday.
The following is the text of the New Year's address that President Vladimir Putin gave on television on Dec. 31:

Dear citizens of Russia, dear friends. In a few minutes, the Kremlin chimes will herald the beginning of the new year, 2005, and the outgoing year will become a part of Russian history. No doubt, the fate of every one of us was reflected in it, as were the achievements of the entire Russian nation. New projects and approaches to solving pressing statewide tasks emerged.

We took serious steps to make the authorities more effective, more open to society and more accountable to it. Economic and defense potential was strengthened, and the country's capabilities were increased.

We began investing more in education and science. Programs have been drawn up to construct affordable housing and improve the quality of health care.

All of our priorities are focused on people's intellectual and spiritual development.

The main task, the principal internal force of Russia's development, is to realize each person's capabilities and improve people's lives.

I have to say that the outgoing year also was marked by dramatic events for our people. Even today, on New Year's Eve, we must remember this.

The coming year, 2005, is a special one for all of us -- it is the year of the 60th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War.

It is a great holiday for us. For all people with whom we are linked by a common fate, I would say, by historical kinship.

Dear friends, starting in the new year, 2005, we revert to an old Russian tradition -- a tradition of long New Year's holidays. Let them be radiant and memorable. Let them be filled with heartfelt warmth and cordiality.

On New Year's Eve we always try to be with our near and dear ones. We are particularly attentive to our parents, readily share our joy with friends and wish happiness to our children. And, of course, we think about the future.

And whatever personal plans we may conceive, each of us knows that they are directly connected with the welfare and successes of our Russia.

May your homes be filled with a festive spirit. I wish you happiness, peace, kindness and love.

Happy New Year, dear friends. Happy 2005.