Vladimir Putin took the oath of office for his fourth term as Russian president on Monday, promising to pursue an economic agenda that would boost living standards across the country.
In a ceremony in an ornate Kremlin hall, Putin said improving Russia's economy following a recession partly linked to international sanctions would be a primary goal of his next six-year term.
"Now, we must use all existing possibilities, first of all for resolving internal urgent tasks of development, for economic and technological breakthroughs, for raising competitiveness in those spheres that determine the future," he said in his speech to thousands of guests standing in the elaborate Andreevsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace and two adjacent halls.
"A new quality of life, well-being, security and people's health — that's what's primary today," he said.
Although Putin has restored Russia's prominence on the world stage through military actions, he has been criticized for inadequate efforts to diversify Russia's economy away from its dependence on oil and gas exports and to develop the manufacturing sector.
Putin held on to the presidency in March's election when he tallied 77% of the vote.