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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I invited you here to congratulate you and the entire Interior Ministry staff on your professional holiday, Internal Affairs Agency Workers’ Day.
The Ministry has many tasks, difficult ones. No country can exist without a structure such as our Interior Ministry. In general, it is up to the Interior Ministry to cope with the challenges that society and state life present.
You face difficult challenges relating to fighting crime and terrorism. This year alone, five Interior Ministry employees were awarded the Hero of Russia Star, three of them posthumously. Ninety-seven of our comrades were killed this year, and several hundred were injured while on duty.
All fields in which you work are important for Russian society. As I already said, they include the fight against crime, extremism and terrorism. A very important aspect of your work concerns protecting the legitimate rights of economic actors.
Naturally, failures and betrayals are unavoidable in such vast, enormous, great work. That much is clear. But it is also clear that you, the Ministry’s leaders, should do everything possible to eventually reduce the number of such instances to zero.
I know that all of you are experienced and have worked a great deal and well in a wide range of fields, while many of you began their service in some of the lowest positions in the Interior Ministry and worked their way up.
I wish you every success. Many here hold a new position as leaders in one of our country’s largest governmental agencies. Once again I would like to congratulate you on today’s holiday.
Minister of The Interior Vladimir Kolokoltsev: Thank you, Mr President. On behalf of the Interior Ministry staff I would like to thank our country’s leaders for the attention and support that we really, truly feel. We now have the necessary legal framework; the social protection of our employees has improved, as have the general material-technical supply within our Ministry. And we really are aware of the responsibility that rests on our shoulders: the responsibility for ensuring public safety and security of our citizens. And on behalf of the entire Interior Ministry personnel I want to assure you, as the President of our country, that we will make every effort to accomplish the tasks that face us.
Vladimir Putin: Indeed, just recently a number of important decisions to consolidate the legal framework governing your activity, to improve the legal and organisational structure, and to address a number of pressing social issues have been taken. On average, wages have increased 1.5-fold and have doubled for some categories of staff, while pensions for Ministry veterans have also increased.
Ongoing reforms, which have been talked about so much, are not over yet, and we still need to think about improving legal structures. Just as we cannot assume that all social problems have been solved. I know about housing problems and, together with the Ministry’s leadership, the Government, and presidential agencies, we will think about them. We will think about what to do additionally so that the Ministry’s personnel and their families feel that their problems are not being ignored and remain our concern. That the government is thinking about this and will resolve these problems. That’s what we are going to do.
Once again, congratulations on your holiday!
Reply: Thank you.