Vladimir Putin held a traditional meeting with Government members ahead of the New Year.

Meeting with Government members
 
Vladimir Putin held a traditional meeting with Government members ahead of the New Year.
 
The participants discussed the overall results of 2018, the country’s socioeconomic development and other current matters.
 
The report was delivered by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
 
* * *
 
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Medvedev, colleagues,
 
As per tradition, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year and to wish you every success. Naturally, I cannot omit to mention the current political agenda.
 
The Government was largely renewed following the Presidential election. Many new people who have made a name for themselves in the regions came to the Government.
 
There is something I would like to point out and thank you for. It is that the new Government members immediately joined in the efforts to attain our main goals for the next five years, that is, the implementation of the national projects.
 
The Presidential Executive Order issued in May 2018 has been implemented, or, rather, we have started working to translate it into practice.
 
We have specified the methods and the resources for attaining the goal of a nationwide breakthrough and our movement forward in such key areas as healthcare, education, science and innovative technology.
 
Of course, we talked about this more than once, yet I believe it would not hurt to say again that we must do our best to reach our goals and fulfil our tasks together with the regional teams.
 
I would like to thank Mr Medvedev for personally overseeing all these national projects and their implementation plans and for taking part in them, just as we had agreed.
 
I strongly hope that we will be able to jointly guarantee the high professional standard of this work and that all of us will work as an integral team. We must score essential results for the Russian people, results that they should feel in their lives, rather than in theory, as I have already noted more than once. The people must feel that their lives are changing for the better.
 
I would like to wish you a Happy New Year and every success.
 
In conclusion, I would like to congratulate you on another event.
 
As you know, I mentioned new types of Russian weapons, mostly hypersonic weapons, in my Address to the Federal Assembly.
 
The Avangard intercontinental hypersonic glide vehicle is one of them.
 
As per my instructions, a Defence Ministry enterprise prepared and conducted the final test of this system. This test has just proved to be an unqualified success.
 
All of the system’s specifications and its performance have been confirmed. I repeat, the test was a success. Starting in 2019, the Russian army will receive the new Avangard intercontinental strategic system.
 
The first Avangard regiment will be deployed as part of the Strategic Missile Forces.
 
This is a major event in the life of the Armed Forces and probably the entire country. Russia now has a new strategic weapons system.
 
Mr Medvedev, you have the floor, please.
 
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, colleagues,
 
Indeed, such meetings ahead of the New Year are a good tradition that we greatly appreciate in the Government. The President always attends them to sum up the results.
 
Mr President, as you rightly said, we tried to start working right away – I am referring to the implementation of the Presidential Executive Order of May 7. It is very important to make sure that everyone is up to the mark. Naturally, it is also highly important that the President support the undertakings of the Government.
 
Thank you for your assessments. We understand how complicated this work is. Next year, literally in several days, the active implementation of all national projects will be launched.
 
Mr President, last week I discussed with you certain clarifications to national projects. The Government held a meeting of the Presidium of the Council for National Projects on Monday. I asked all regional governors to be in contact as you said.
 
We reviewed regional aspects of implementing national projects because it is obvious: all major national tasks should be resolved on the ground, that is, in the regions and municipalities, but the Government must ensure the coordination and control of the implementation of the ambitious objectives set forth in the Presidential Executive Order.
 
Naturally, we will continue working in this vein. I told my colleagues in the Government that next year we will be dealing with national projects not only from our offices and conference halls, but we will be also personally taking part in relevant events and checking on how major areas of our national development are being tackled.
 
This will be guaranteed. I am sure we will resolve the tasks you set and do so as you specified: every year people should feel that changes for the better are being made and that the tasks set forth in the Executive Order are being carried out – and not by 2024 but every year.
 
Thank you very much again for coming to wish us a happy New Year. The President always has a special, busy schedule. The Government should not relax either, and naturally, everyone should follow the developments in the country during the New Year break.
 
We would also like to wish you a happy New Year and success in implementing our big national plans that are specified in your decisions. Of course, we would also like to congratulate you on the launch of the Avangard missile because this is indeed vital for our national security. We would like to congratulate you on this as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.
 
Happy New Year!
 
Vladimir Putin: In view of this latest achievement in the defence sector, I would like to thank all those who contributed to this outcome in the Government, including the Finance Ministry and the Industry and Trade Ministry. This was a major effort, and of course, I cannot fail to recognise those who were at the origins of this work.
 
I have no doubt that those who started this work back in 2003 will see or hear this. This was a lengthy period. It is a major development for science, as it is for the defence industry and in terms of enhancing the country’s defence capability.
 
From a broader perspective, this event is much more than a national achievement. It goes beyond national interests. This is a serious event. We are the first to have a strategic weapon of a new kind, enabling us to provide for the effective defence of our state and people for decades to come.
 
Nevertheless, at the end of the day the civilian sector is what matters the most for us. Going back to what I said in the beginning, let me once again stress the importance of working together with the regions on the key development initiatives. This is extremely important.
 
We will never succeed in any other undertakings, including in the defence and security sectors, international affairs and what have you, unless we achieve the goals we have set in the civilian sector.
 
Achievements do not come out of thin air. All our successes in all areas rest primarily on economic achievements and new technology.
 
Once again, I wish you successful work in 2019.

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