Vladimir Putin awards Mintimer Shaimiev with Order of St. Andrew the First-Called

Vladimir Putin awards Mintimer Shaimiev with Order of St. Andrew the First-Called
Photo: a broadcast screenshot/realnoevremya.ru

“We have a good future. We need to cherish what we have, and firmly, showing will, continue like this”

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has awarded first President of Tatarstan and State Adviser of the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev with the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called. The ceremony of awarding the highest state awards takes place in the Catherine Hall of the Kremlin.

According to the president, “the great merit in strengthening Russian statehood and federalism, interethnic harmony, in the socio-economic development of Tatarstan, and indeed of the whole of Russia, certainly belongs to Mintimer Sharipovich Shaimiev — a strong, extraordinary politician, a man of exceptional wisdom and responsibility.”

Photo: courtesy of kremlin.ru press service for realnoevremya.ru

Shaymiev thanked Vladimir Putin and drew attention to that the country is united now, and added that there are many views in the world where Russia is seen as weak. But the opponents will fail, he is sure. Here is the full text of his speech:

“I would like to say that thanks to the work that manages to fulfill their duties in life, the state and the government always notice and create conditions for further work, the interests of our multinational, multi-confessional state.

I would like to say today, and we should keep this in mind, although I am sure each of us is following, Vladimir Vladimirovich — despite all the difficulties that we are experiencing now or are participants, accomplices in all complex processes — political, economic — I would like to say that never our path has been easy. About this already, as they say, age allows you to say as is. Expressing the deepest respect from everyone to the President of our country, in these conditions, even if we take the latest indicators of the development of the Russian Federation, [including] this year, despite everything that is happening in the world, we continue to strengthen and show a sense of unity. In life, when you are already in this process, I have the moral right to say: You manage to unite our people. It is multinational, multi-confessional. In these circumstances, I would like to draw your attention, dear friends, to the main indicators of the development of the Russian Federation in recent years, I would even say in recent years and even in the last quarter. By the main economic indicators, the country is in an adequate situation as never before, and [we] ensure the further strengthening of the unity of our state.

We all know, it's good that you find understanding among all citizens of our country. The line that is [chosen] in these conditions, thanks to character and experience, brings success. Pay attention to the latest indicators of the development of the Russian Federation: in all the main economic (not to mention the policy pursued by you) directions of the country's development, the dynamics are more positive than ever. Sometimes we have already passed a very difficult path — and we pass, we continue. But our inner preparedness, which is manifested in the patriotism of our citizens to such an extent as today, says that we are strong, we are united. It is very important that you and I are entrusted with this responsibility, we carry it as far as we can. In these conditions, when the country is developing, and in the main areas that have been identified — I would like to repeat once again — in terms of the main, decisive economic indicators of development, we have not yet been so unified in such a situation. Unity and mutual understanding with the authorities, working with the people are not easy. But we can firmly say: Vladimir Vladimirovich, you are succeeding.

We are obliged, it's not even enough to say “obliged”, because the country proceeds from what we have been through and what is happening now, and how in these conditions we manage to become stronger and more powerful. I will not be afraid of these words, as this is confirmed by all the main indicators and the situation, the position that we currently occupy in the world. We have been through a lot, but in the situation as it is, we, the whole people, manage to show [unity]. That's how it should be. This is a huge achievement. Nothing comes easy. Nothing has ever been easy for the Russian Federation. Also because we have too much potential. We didn't have many easy times. Maybe it wasn't the times, but the moments. And now we are firmly on our feet. It is the situation when we experience it. It was given at such a price, and is now being given to the current generation — it is very important for the current generation.

Therefore, of course, our task is to go as boldly and as fundamentally under your leadership. Because we have a multinational, multi-confessional and, I would even say, a long-suffering people who have experienced and are experiencing what is happening. But now our determination and our unity — we already look at these things differently. Therefore, we must all strive for unity. We are a multinational, multi-confessional country. They believed that this was a weak link for our history and for our people. And you, together with the current generation, manage to find a complete understanding and turn it into a real force. This is a real power. We are determined people, we have seen a lot. And what a young generation is growing! Even sometimes you have to think about when you watch TV, how our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren take bread — there is something to show, I would say, in this situation you can use the word “abundance”. They get used to it already in full force, eat, enjoy, see it and grow against this background. We have a good future. We need to cherish what we have, and firmly, showing will, continue like this. There is no other way and we do not need it. And if it is given, and it will be overcome — already by the great unity of our people. This is our country, we know.

Why do we have to face these questions? Because there are many views in the world that would like to see us weak. It will not succeed, we have already passed and are passing, our country is like this. Where is there such a country where the northern sea routes would be being developed now? When you went there for the first time, we already understood that. We are watching how, where the President goes and what he says, what he aspires to then and what it turns into. After all, these are fundamental directions. We are strong in this. Even having such sea routes that need to be overcome by nuclear-powered ships and so on, whatever it is — it is in our power. We have confidence, perhaps, more than ever. That's why I would like us [to work] with this mood — we are in the asset, that's why we are standing here. Success is ours. We've been over harder things many times. We must become strong. Because in such conditions, again, we ensure the real development of our country. Thank you so much for your efforts. We are always with you, the entire multinational people of our country are with you.

At the end of the award ceremony , Vladimir Putin said:

“Mintimer Sharipovich [Shaimiev] recalled and said about what happened, how our country has been developing in recent years and what we have achieved — we have become much more self-sufficient. There can be no sovereignty without self-sufficiency. And self-sufficiency is achieved in all areas of work — in creativity, in science, in production, and, of course, in military affairs. Yes, we have also talked about this many times today, Russia is now overcoming difficult times. They also said that there had never been any easy ones. Nevertheless, today is a special moment of our powerful consolidation, the aggravation of our national feeling, the desire to strengthen at all costs the foundations of our spirituality, to create conditions in the sphere of economy, production, education of our young people to ensure the unconditional future of our country. And you make your visible, tangible contribution to this.”

“This is the highest recognition of his selfless service to his native republic”

The rais of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, congratulated Mintimer Shaimiev on the award. He wrote that the republic is proud of its first president.

Chairman of the State Council of Tatarstan Farid Mukhametshin also addressed congratulations to Mintimer Shaimiev. He stated that the first president of the republic became for him, as for many, “the first teacher in the school of modern politics created by him”.

“This is the highest recognition of his selfless service to his native republic. The formation of Tatarstan as an advanced, dynamically developing, strong region with its interethnic harmony is inextricably linked with the name of the first president," Farid Mukhametshin wrote.

Photo: courtesy of kremlin.ru press service for realnoevremya.ru

The decree on awarding Mintimer Shaimiev was signed in January 2022, on the day of his 85th birthday. The Order of St. Andrew the First-Called is the highest state order in Russia.

The ceremony of awarding the highest state awards was held in March last year. But Mintimer Shaimiev could not go to Moscow. As the head of the press service of the rais of Tatarstan, Lilia Galimova, explained, he did not go to the capital for the award because of the epidemiological situation.

Ayrat Nazipov