Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as president of Russia for a six-year term. The inauguration ceremony which took place at the Kremlin Palace on Monday was attended by deputies of both houses of parliament, members of the Constitutional Court, and nearly 3,000 guests. The new president took an oath of allegiance and assumed the duties of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
Vladimir Putin walked into St.Andrew’s Hall of the Kremlin Palace to Tchaikovsky’s Ceremonial Coronation March. Outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev addressed his successor and all those present with an inaugural speech.
"The inauguration of a newly elected president marks a new chapter in the country’s history. The president is the head of state, the guarantor of the Constitution and of citizens’ rights and freedoms. During my term as president, I did everything in my power to guarantee these rights and freedoms, to ensure that Russian citizens were free and felt confident about the future. I promised to pursue these priorities as I took presidential oath four years ago. We’ve made tangible achievements over the past years and still have a lot to focus on. I’m happy that Vladimir Putin has been elected president. He has years of experience and he is a strong leader, who has the support of most Russian citizens. I wish him every success in this post."
In response, Vladimir Putin took an oath of service, his right hand placed on a red-bound copy of the Russian Constitution. The Standard (flag) of the President of the Russian Federation, the Emblem of the President of the Russian Federation, and the special copy of the Constitution make up the insignia of presidential power in Russia.
"I swear in exercising the powers of the President of the Russian Federation to respect and safeguard the rights and freedoms of man and citizen, to observe and protect the Constitution of the Russian Federation, to protect the sovereignty and independence, security and integrity of the State, to faithfully serve the people," Putin said as he took the oath of office.
Several minutes after taking the oath of loyalty to the people, Vladimir Putin added:
"I’m fully aware of my responsibility to our Motherland. Russia’s security and prosperity have always been and will always be my top priorities. I’ll do my utmost to live up to people’s expectations, to justify the trust of millions of Russian citizens. The next few years will become decisive for the country’s future, for decades ahead. The future of next generations of Russians depends on us, on our ability to create a new economy, to improve living standards, to become a strong nation and a center of attraction for entire Eurasia. We’ll achieve these goals provided that we become a united nation, consolidate our efforts, protect our Motherland, strengthen democracy and cement constitutional rights and freedoms."
Vladimir Putin walked out of the inauguration hall to storms of applause and an artillery salute – the highest military honor for the president and commander-in-chief. President Putin then went on to review the presidential regiment.
Vladimir Putin won a landslide in the first round of presidential elections on March 4th, scoring more than 63% of the votes. This inauguration was Putin’s third. He was elected president in 2000 and in 2004. But unlike before, when he was elected for a four-year term, this time he will remain in office for six years.