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Reception marking National Unity Day

November 4, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

A reception to mark National Unity Day has been hosted at the Kremlin. As part of the event, the President presented the Russian Federation state decorations.

Linguist, academician and president of the Russian Academy of Education Lyudmila Verbitskaya was awarded a prize for her contribution to enhancing the unity of the Russian nation.

Vladimir Putin presented orders and medals of the Russian Federation to foreign citizens for their special contributions to strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding between nations, and preserving and promoting the Russian language and culture abroad.

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Ceremony for presenting state decorations

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, ladies and gentlemen,

I congratulate you on National Unity Day.

This holiday has primarily historical, ethical and spiritual meaning. It marks loyalty to the Fatherland and our willingness to defend it and work for its prosperity.

For Russia, high principles of patriotism have a special value. They are the basis of the invincible spirit of our people, which has surprised and amazed the world many times. The sense of patriotism is a major part of the national culture and the core of our inherited memory.

These traditions have always inspired us to make noble actions and genuine breakthroughs, and create original masterpieces. The exhibition Treasures of Russian Museums once again proves this. I am confident that many present here will attend this exhibition, which is being held as part of the Orthodox Russia series. Once again, I should note the special meaning and relevance of this project, which reflects the unity of the vast cultural space of our millennium-old country.

The exhibition was created with the active involvement of regional museums and art galleries. Its scope and exhibits are truly memorable and impressive, and makes one aware of how rich our country is in talent and how much can be accomplished by Russia's amazing sons and daughters, who are often modest but brilliant, and wonderfully and infinitely gifted.

Friends, our history has had many periods when Russia's future and its survival were the main thing for everyone, and the country's fate was invariably determined by the nation's courage, unity and will.

Today's holiday marks the events that took place over four hundred years ago. Yet, the splendour of the deeds, to which the love for the Fatherland inspired people of various ethnicities and social classes and which united them, never fades away. Those events put an end to disturbances, discords and betrayals, drove invaders from Moscow, restored stable power, and prevented invaders from destroying and weakening the Russian nation and its unity.

The lives of our great ancestors serve as an example, reminding us to take care of Russia, preserve its sovereignty, and cherish peace and accord in its big and multi-ethnic family. Traditionally, today we honour our compatriots who work in this field successfully and indefatigably.

This year, the prize for contributing to the enhancement of the unity of the Russian nation is presented to Lyudmila Verbitskaya. An outstanding linguist, she has done much to develop Russian as a state-constituting language, the language of our culture and interethnic communication. I should particularly note Ms Verbitskaya's educational activities to advocate the Russian language's positions abroad. This is important for promoting traditional values that were cherished by our ancestors and that remain our moral and spiritual basis.

Sadly, Mr Verbitskaya cannot be present here due to health issues, but I am sure I will be able to present the prize to her soon. I wish her all the best and a speedy recovery.

Friends, traditionally, our compatriots have been invited at the reception to mark National Unity Day. Present here are many our friends from other countries. I would like to express my deepest appreciation for your sincere engagement in Russia's life, your respect for the Russian culture and interest for our rich history and contemporary life, as well as for the support and development of educational, business and scientific links, and, of course, for a friendly and open attitude to our country, which helps strengthen understanding between people. Such a mission is very important today, and we greatly appreciate your actions and commitment to advocate peace and justice.

Once again, I congratulate all citizens of Russia on National Unity Day.

Thank you for attention.


Vladimir Putin: Friends,

Let me once again congratulate you on the holiday.

I would like to address our laureates with the words of appreciation for their work. They have just reported to us on what they do, how they do it, their attitude toward Russia, its culture, traditions and history. This definitely evokes an image of what we should aspire to. This is the image of cooperation, friendship and interaction. If we base our actions on the things that unite us and not on current contradictions, we will definitely act as Catherine the Great did; not only will we abolish reciprocal customs duties but will also actively move forward for the benefit of our two nations.

My congratulations. Wishing you all the best.

November 4, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow