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    New Year's Eve Televised Address by Russian President Vladimir Putin

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    Respected citizens of Russia,

    Dear friends,

    We are coming to the end of 2003. Of course, it was an eventful year.

    There were difficulties and mistakes, and many unsolved problems remain. However, together we searched for and found the necessary solutions. Everything that we achieved is not simply a gift, because we persistently worked throughout the year. We worked for ourselves and for our families. And all this has served our common success. The country has gained authority, and the entire Russian nation dignity.

    There were obvious achievements in the economy and in public life. We have every reason to say that the outgoing year was successful.

    In these minutes, each one of us remembers the most important events for both ourselves as individuals and our families. One particularly pleasing fact is that more new Russian citizens were born this year in comparison with last year.

    This is a good sign. It means that people in our country are looking towards the future with confidence. I hope that both children and parents bring each other nothing but joy. That they will understand and care for each other, and live in peace, love and harmony.

    Dear friends,

    New Year's Eve is a holiday that has always been and will remain a symbol of kindness and hope. And we, with every justification, can believe in the best. And we hope that we can do everything that we have so far not been able to do.

    The year 2004 will begin in just a few seconds. I wish that all your plans are accomplished and that everything you hope for comes true.

    I hope that your homes will be filled with comfort and that spiritual calm, warmth and prosperity are with you not only on New Year's Eve, but also throughout your lives.

    I wish you happiness!

    Happy New Year!

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