#2 - JRL 7220
RUSSIA CELEBRATES ITS HOLIDAY AS A CONSOLIDATED COUNTRY
MOSCOW, June 12, 2003 /RIA Novosti/ - Russia "is celebrating its holiday as a consolidated country," Russian President Vladimir Putin has said this Thursday while addressing the festivities in Moscow's Red Square on the occasion of Russia Day.
"We know that our strength is based on consolidation and our victories are based on solid unity. Russia sees its possibilities, is confident in its strength and this strength comes from the country's citizens and the entire Russian society," the president of Russia said.
Vladimir Putin noted that today "we already have the foundation, on which we can build a solid future for our great Motherland, a future for many years and decades to come." "We know from our own experience that it is better to live in a strong and consolidated family, and we also know how important it is to care about and strengthen Russia. We can make it an economically strong country and a democratic power open to the world only by acting together," the president said.
"We shall be able to make Russian statehood strong and our country convenient for the life of people, for ourselves, for our children and grandchildren" only by acting together," Vladimir Putin stressed.
"Our predecessors have taught us that such a country as Russia can only be strong. That is why, we have no right to forget the history, the history with all its bright and dark pages," the president said.
Each year of Russia's centuries-old history, "be it a victorious or a dramatic year, involves the destiny of our homeland and, therefore, our common destiny," the president said. "This is the destiny of millions of our ancestors who defended and transformed Russia, multiplied its achievements and passed them over to their children," the head of state noted.
"Representatives of all constituent members of the Federation have just staged a bright parade in Red Square. Their successes and labour constitute the strength and dignity of our great country," the president noted. Its regions are the place where its wealth is created and the place, which is home to people, for the sake and benefit of whom the Russian state develops and gets stronger.
On this day we are celebrating in honour of our Motherland, in honour of the country with its thousand-year history and unique heritage, the country, which has put together a multitude of peoples, areas and culture on its vast territory.
All the country's regions are celebrating Russia Day today. The CIS and other countries of the world are also celebrating Russia Day together with Russia, the president said.
The head of state wished all his compatriots and Russia's friends good deeds, prosperity and well being.