MOSCOW, May 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has expressed gratitude to his Cabinet for joint work during the years of his premiership, which Putin characterized as "the upgrading courses".
"Things were often not quite smooth over the past four years. We have not always managed to do things as we wanted to, but in general, we established the right rhythm in our work, and I say Thank you to all of you," Putin said. «Previously I had some experience, working in the government, and while being president I devoted much time to problems of social-economic character. But during the past four years that I have been in the government sometimes I got the impression that actually I was at the "qualification upgrading courses," Putin admitted.
He thanked his Cabinet for patience and a tactful attitude to joint work. "When an explanation or a thorough analysis was needed we did that together with respect to each other despite difficulties we faced," Putin said.
"The last meeting of the outgoing Cabinet is no gala occasion; we have 17 issues on agenda, including things without which we cannot go ahead in budgetary politics- the main directions in tariff and taxation politics and also problems connected with procurement," Putin said. "The Cabinet should work right up until a new government comes. I presume that all the heads of ministries and departments present are ship captains who will remain on their captain’s bridges to the end," Putin said.
The main accomplishment of the outgoing Cabinet is that it managed to avoid a repetition of the 1998 default shocks, which showed that a plan of anti-crisis measures developed by the government proved effective. As a result, the economy has rather quickly recovered and rose to a trajectory of growth," Putin said.
Putin praised the Customs Union and the common economic space with Belarus and Kazakhstan which have actually commenced joint work. "Today, we have built a reliable foundation, a base for future development," Putin said, adding that the government always relied on support of citizens. "I am confident that the future government will also rely on people; to ensure citizens' support one should never forget about the needs of rank-and- file citizens. One should always remember that decisions made by the government tell on the fate of every citizen," Putin stressed.
Upon completion of the last meeting of the Cabinet Vladimir Putin and members of the outgoing Cabinet were photographed together. The joint photograph features members of the Cabinet who will certainly not be in the new government, such as Minister for Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu, who was endorsed Governor of the Moscow region, and Minister for regional development Viktor Basargin appointed Acting governor of the Perm region. First Vice-premier Viktor Zubkov, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Minister for Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina, who are away on vacation, are neither in the final snapshot of the outgoing Cabinet.