Vladimir Putin met with Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu
27 december 2008
Transcript of the start of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu, to begin with, I would like to extend my congratulations to you and the staff at Emergency Situations Ministry on your professional holiday.
We would all like you to have as little work as possible. But when an emergency happens, people expect you to make consistent, practical and competent decisions. With you as the ministry's founder and head, your staff has never failed to do efficient work over the years. We can always count on your professionalism and courage in an emergency. I extend my congratulations to you and wish you all the best.
Sergei Shoigu: Thank you, Mr Putin. We will do our best to justify the trust extended to us by the Russian Government and the nation. Today's holiday is celebrated by all firefighters, rescue workers, pilots and dog handlers. Everyone who is not on duty is celebrating today, and most of them will get together in the field. It is an old tradition, especially among our ministry's rescue workers, to go out in the field to celebrate this holiday. My colleagues in the Caucasus and in South Ossetia are in the mountains today, some in areas where there is a danger of an avalanche. But the majority of our rescuers are working today, whether in Siberia, the Far East, in Kamchatka or in Sakhalin.
I will pass on your congratulations to everyone at the ministry. Thank you very much again for your high opinion of our work.