Vladimir Putin spends his last day as Russia’s President. The inauguration of President Elect Dmitry Medvedev will take place on Wednesday, May 7. Speaking about his presidency, Putin said that he was an employee who provided services to the people. He also said once that he was working for Russia like a slave on a galley.
“I would like our citizens to think of me as a person, whom they hired to execute certain professional duties during a certain period of time. I would like our people to perceive me as a person with whom they concluded a labor contract for four years,” Putin said in 2004.
The Russians concluded such a labor contract with Putin twice. From May 7, 2008 and further, it will be Dmitry Medvedev to provide services to the people of Russia.
Putin stated during his last international press conference in the Kremlin that he was working like a slave on a galley from early morning till late at night during the years of his presidency. He added that he was happy with the results that he had achieved. However, Putin will continue to work for the nation several days later as the prime minister.
Putin has traveled all across Russia - 212 cities - during eight years of his presidency. He also visited 74 foreign countries, ITAR-TASS reports. He conducted about 150 meetings with foreign officials a year. The Kremlin archives now store 1,409 speeches made by Putin during foreign political contacts. Putin’s last international meeting took place in the Kremlin with the Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on April 29.
In addition to personal meetings, Putin often communicated with foreign leaders on the phone. He annually had about a hundred of such talks. Putin’s last phone conversation with a leader of a foreign country took place on May 4 with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whom Putin congratulated on his 80th birthday.
As for large international events, Putin most often participated in CIS summits. There were 64 of those summits in total. He also took part in 17 Russia-EU summits, seven meetings with APEC and three UN General Assemblies. To crown it all, Putin participated in G8 and SOC summits eight times.
From 2000 to 2008 Putin has had 192 foreign trips of different level – work, official and state visits.
On May 7 State Duma deputies will participate in the inauguration ceremony of President Elect Dmitry Medvedev. On May 8 deputies will hold a special meeting to approve Vladimir Putin for the position of the Russian Prime Minister.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov