TRANSCRIPT: [Medvedev and Putin] Visiting United Russia party’s campaign headquarters

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 18, 2016)

After the polling stations closed, Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited the election campaign headquarters of the United Russia party.

The United Russia party candidates who took part in the election in Moscow and the Moscow Region, along with volunteers and United Russia party activists took part in the meeting.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, colleagues, friends,

Today is a special day, Election Day.

We have gathered at United Russia party headquarters to look at the preliminary results. The fact that the founder of our party, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, is here with us is a great pleasure and privilege for us. Mr President, thank you for being with us on this day.

Holding elections is an immensely challenging, but very important, task for the state. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Russians who came to the polling stations today to cast their ballots, thereby expressing their will as the citizens of this country. An important part of the electorate supported United Russia. We can now say with all confidence that United Russia has won.

Ballot counting is still underway. Of course, the exit polls are already out, and you know what they show. We will probably have the final nationwide results by tomorrow morning. The results that are coming in are positive. Our party will command an absolute majority, the extent of which will be determined as the votes are counted.

So, once again, I would like to thank all of you, all the election campaign activists, and all the people of Russia for expressing their position on this very special day.

Mr President, I would now like to ask you to say a few words.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I would like to address both those present here tonight, and all Russian citizens. You have seen the video clip in which I called on the people to go to their polling stations and cast their ballots. After watching a couple of news reports, I thought that they should probably stop showing me. Maybe I’m getting tired of seeing myself on the screen all the time.

On a more serious note, let me say that the people actually expressed their will. Voter turnout is an important indicator. It was quite high, although not as high as during some of the previous elections. What matters for United Russia, just as for any other party is the result. And the result is good.

You know what I thought? We know that life is not easy for people, and that there are many issues that have yet to be resolved. But still, the outcome of the election is what it is. It is already clear, judging by the exit polls, even if some minor adjustments are possible, that overall, as Mr Medvedev said, the party has certainly achieved a very good result and won the election.

Getting back to what I started with, the people have voted for United Russia, even though the situation is difficult.

It means that the people see that delegates from United Russia, the leading political party, are really working for them. Maybe they don’t always succeed, but they are working honestly and as efficiently as they can. Of course, sceptics will say that they are not working as well as they should, but nobody is working better.

There’s another thing: the growing political maturity of our people. This maturity can be judged by the understanding that empty promises are worth nothing.

Of course, people want to live better. They want two or three times higher salaries, and they want pensions to increase faster. They want everything. The question is how to do it.

Debates are ongoing among those who think more funds should be invested in social programmes and those who call for giving priority to the economy. But these are professional discussions aimed at finding an optimal solution to the problems that are facing the country and the people.

I said at a meeting with United Russia activists that there are no enemies in the Government who are holding back the funds. Are they talking about their own money here? Or are they just tight-fisted? It’s not a matter of being tight or generous. What matters is finding solutions to problems.

The people seem to be aware of the desire and intention of the country’s leading political force, which has representatives in the parliament, to work for them and for the country, and the people trust this intention.

It may sound trite, but I will say it anyway: we must justify public confidence. We must work together with the deputies elected from single-mandate districts to create a tight professional core, to structure our activities and move on.

There are many tasks ahead and many issues to be addressed. But I am confident that you will form a solid backbone in the State Duma and will work together with the deputies from the other parties in parliament – I have always said that you must find ways to cooperate with the other parties in parliament – to find solutions that will be accepted by the majority of people.

Once again, congratulations and good luck.

Secretary of the United Russia Party General Council Sergei Neverov: Mr President, on behalf of all those present, candidates and election agents, I would like to thank you for supporting the party during this campaign.

I believe that people in our country have supported the course you have set, the course to strengthen our country, consolidate our society, develop Russia and make it more independent and self-sufficient. This is the course the people have advocated today by supporting our candidates from the Kamchatka Territory to Kaliningrad.

Crimea, Sevastopol – our candidates have met everywhere and talked about being together and about what we have to do together. This support is reflected in the results that we now see and that the Central Election Commission has announced preliminarily.

Thank you very much.

Remark: It’s your victory, congratulations!

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. I am happy about this, and – as Mr Medvedev said and is common knowledge – I am always happy to see that the organisation that I built is actually functioning as it was designed, and that it is a powerful way to stabilise the situation in the country.

It does more than stabilise the political situation, it is also engaged in the country’s development and makes very important decisions. Unfortunately, it must sometimes make decisions that might appear controversial at first, but they are designed for the mid- and even long-term. In fact, this is what a responsible approach comes down to. We can give away everything we have today, but tomorrow… promise, but never keep the promise. Or keep it today, but do nothing tomorrow. The point is not merely to hand out funds or spend reserves. The question is how to establish the rules of economic life and to achieve positive results based on these rules. All these issues have been debated, but nevertheless, United Russia has managed to do these things. I hope it will continue to move forward.

Remark: The election will show that people supported this, Mr President.

Remark: The most important thing is that the veterans noticed this. This time there were many young people who came along with the veterans. This is really great.

Remark: At the meetings, you could really feel that people do have faith, and people are supporting the country’s current development direction. There were no serious problems. When you explain everything to people they understand it very well.

Vladimir Putin: This is the most important thing. When you speak sincerely and honestly, when you believe in what you are doing and in the position you are defending, when you are convinced that yours is the right position, it is always easier and people start feeling it, accepting and trusting you. This is crucial.

Remark: Mr President, I think that’s the real point. It is my belief that sincerity ran like a golden thread through the preliminary voting and through all the meetings up until today’s decision.

I believe many will agree that this indicates public consolidation, society coming together. In difficult times like we have had recently, smaller disagreements eventually pale into insignificance.

I think what we see here is support. But it is also an extra responsibility that requires serious work because people are showing their support for your policy, they support the country’s current direction, and it is a huge responsibility.

Vladimir Putin: Supporting the policy is very good, very important. It means there is trust, without which it is impossible to accomplish a lot. But there is also another component and you just mentioned it.

The situation is not easy and people feel it and they want that stability in society and the political system that we were talking about. I think that’s how people feel, and they want this stability. In such a complicated situation they want security in the country, in politics and in the parliament. This was the mood of the public in the run-up to the election and we got the results that our voters wanted. This is what came out of it.

<…>

[featured image is file photo]