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Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Sergei Sobyanin on taking office as Moscow Mayor

October 21, 2010, Moscow

In his speech at the inauguration ceremony, the President wished Sergei Sobyanin success in his position as Moscow Mayor, stressing that the job of the Russian capital’s head was a major responsibility.

The main task of the new Moscow Mayor is to further address the social issues in the capital.


President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Sobyanin, friends,

First of all, let me once again congratulate the new Moscow Mayor on taking office. Mr Sobyanin, this very demanding position will now become the focus of your life. I think here in this hall there is no need to speak about the hope with which all of Moscow is looking at you now and the great responsibility you have taken on by saying the oath of the Moscow Mayor.

Moscow is not just the largest metropolis in Russia, it is not just a huge and complex city; Moscow is the heart and the capital of our country. The situation all across our vast homeland to a great degree depends on the life of this city, its functioning and the social wellbeing of its residents.

You have a very good track record and a great deal of experience that can now be applied for the benefit of Muscovites and the development of our capital. In the past you headed a large Russian region very successfully. You have experience working in a wide range of areas at the federal level: you engaged in legislative activity, in the work of the Presidential Executive Office and of the Government. Such synergy, which arises as a result of federal and regional experience, should, I believe, greatly benefit Moscow, because Moscow really is the largest city in our country. All eyes are turned to Moscow, everyone visits Moscow, admires it, occasionally ask questions, because everyone wants our lives to be more prosperous and more modern. And a lot of effort has gone into achieving this in Moscow.

Moscow is the fastest growing city and entity in the Russian Federation. When I think back to Moscow in the 1990’s and I compare it to Moscow of today, I can say that these are different cities in terms of both the comfort level and social standards. But the duty of the new mayor will not be limited to maintaining the level that has been achieved; his job will be to raise the standard of living for everyone who lives in the city and comes here to work. This is not an easy task but I am confident that you have all the necessary qualities for this, and I am sure you will devote all of your time to these tasks. Your efforts will include programmes for the older generation, which should be one of the most important aspects of your work. You will work with young people and you will remember young families in Moscow who want to get their own homes, and these homes have to be reasonably priced. You will devote a lot of time to public employees, who have relatively modest means, state employees, in order to make their life in Moscow more comfortable. All the social standards I have mentioned should not be just maintained; they should be improved.

Moscow has a lot of problems, we all know that. One of them, and I have spoken to you about it, is a problem everyone is aware of: the traffic. I am confident that you will spare no effort and attention to address this endemic problem.

Moscow is not only the political capital of our state, the seat of the President, the Government, the Federal Assembly and the highest courts in our country; Moscow is also a centre of business activity. That was why we decided that Moscow would be the financial centre of our country, and if we succeed in what we are working on now, a financial centre serving virtually all of Eurasia too. We have set ourselves such an ambitious task and to achieve it, we must do everything possible to improve the business climate in Moscow. This is a very important objective.

There are factors that, unfortunately, have hampered the development of business. I am sure you will be able to cope with those factors.

Mr Sobyanin, the most importantly duty that follows from this oath is to serve Muscovites faithfully. They have just vested you with authority through the Moscow City Duma. This is a high degree of trust, which I am sure you will be able to justify.

I sincerely wish you health and success for the benefit of Moscow and all Muscovites and for the prosperity of our beloved homeland. Congratulations.

October 21, 2010, Moscow