delivered 7 May 2008, The Kremlin, Moscow
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Respected citizens of Russia, dear friends:
I have just taken the oath of the President of the Russian Federation. This oath is given to me by the people of Russia, and its very first lines pledge respect and protection of human rights and freedoms. It is them that our society declares the greatest value, and they determine the sense and the substance of all state policy.
It is for this reason that I consider it my greatest duty to continue to develop civil and economic freedom and to create the broadest new opportunities for our people to realize their full potential as free citizens responsible for their personal success and for the prosperity of our entire country.
It is these citizens who create the nation’s greatest worth and who are the source of strength of a state that today possesses the resources it needs and a clear understanding of our national interests.
I want to assure all of our citizens today that I will spare no effort in my work as President and as someone for whom Russia is my home and my native soil.
Over these last eight years we have laid a solid foundation for long-term construction, for free and stable development in the decades to come. We must make full use of this unique opportunity to turn Russia into one of the world’s best countries; best in providing its people with comfort, confidence and security in their lives. This is our strategy and this is the goal that will guide us in the years ahead.
I am fully aware of just how much still needs to be done to make our state truly just and caring towards its citizens and provide the highest possible living standards so that more and more people can swell the ranks of the middle class and gain access to good education and healthcare services.
We are committed to innovation in all areas of life, to developing cutting-edge production, modernizing our industry and agriculture, creating big incentives for private investment and generally making every effort to help Russia firmly establish itself as a leader in technological and intellectual development.
I place particular importance on the fundamental role of the law, which is the cornerstone of our state and our civil society. We must ensure true respect for the law and overcome the legal nihilism that is such a serious hindrance to modern development.
A mature and effective legal system is an essential condition for economic and social development, supporting entrepreneurship and fighting corruption. But it is no less important for increasing Russia’s influence in the international community, making our country more open to the world and facilitating dialogue as equals with other peoples.
Finally, true supremacy of the law is only possible if people feel safe in their lives. I will do everything I can to ensure that the safety of our citizens is not just enshrined in the law but is genuinely guaranteed by the state.
These tasks I have named call for day-to-day cooperation with all the responsible political forces in our society, with all the institutions of civil society and with the parties and the country’s regions.
I hope that cooperation between our country’s different religious faiths and social and ethnic groups will continue to strengthen peace and harmony in our common home. Our country’s present and future depend on it.
Dear friends! You can understand what profound emotion I feel at this time. I am very conscious of the weight of responsibility that will fall upon my shoulders, and I count on our work together.
I give my sincere thanks to President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for the unfailing personal support I have always received from him. I am sure that this will not change.
Life and the march of history place us before fundamentally new and even more complex tasks. But I am sure that our country and its hardworking and talented people are entirely up to these tasks.
My duty now is to serve our people every day and every hour, and do everything possible to give them a better life, success and confidence in the future, in the name of the continued rise and prosperity of our beloved homeland, our great Russia.
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