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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrades, veterans,
I congratulate you and your colleagues on Security Agency Worker’s Day. I wish success to all those who have made service to the Fatherland their calling, those who stand on guard of our national interests.
In Russia, people are justifiably proud of the glorious pages in the special services’ history. Over the course of centuries, they have served as powerful guarantors of our national sovereignty, which is a critical aspect of statehood, and that is actually typical of just about any sovereign nation.
Today, we express our respect for the brave acts of people who have demonstrated competence, bravery and readiness to fulfil orders, regardless of the circumstances.
Comrades, the modern world harbours many challenges and threats, and in order to respond to them, Russia needs strong, efficient security agencies; it needs professionals capable of quickly and successfully fulfilling the most important national tasks. The main among them is defending the rights and legal interests of our citizens. The better they are secured, the safer and more secure our people feel. We get a more stable society and a stronger Russia.
Countering terrorism remains a priority task. I will note that in the first eleven months of this year, 90 terrorist crimes have been prevented, including 6 terrorist attacks. Compared to the same period in 2011, four times fewer terrorist attacks were committed. Behind every figure and every indicator there is precise analysis, operational efficiency, and personal courage of people involved in special operations. The ultimate result of these operations is people’s lives being saved.
Security agencies must continue to work actively to avert problems and use their full arsenal of preventive measures. This is also fully true in countering extremists who are trying to fracture our society, infecting it with the viruses of nationalism, xenophobia, and social and religious animosity. Regardless of their slogans, extremists pose a threat to our entire society, to each of us.
Any call for violence, provocations or other crimes must be opposed with the full force of law, the state’s power and a firm position by the entire society. So I would like to once again stress today that the special services must draw on the support of society; they must value public trust, strictly follow the law, and stay in constant dialogue with people. That is the formula for success.
An essential component of Russia’s security is the reliable guarding of its borders. We will continue to equip the FSB Border Guard Service with new technology and communication means, placing a priority on developing modern border infrastructure.
And naturally, we must firmly and consistently pursue a policy of eliminating corruption, decisively fighting against organised and other forms of crime. The authority of the state, Russia’s stable economic and social development, and reinforcement of its positions in international arena depend largely on the results of your work.
Today, our nation is actively engaged in resolving the focal issues in global politics, taking more confident steps toward its integration into the global economy and broadening its presence in foreign markets, as well as implementing large-scale integration projects in Eurasia together with its neighbours and partners.
We need to consistently develop cooperation with our allies and partners. I know that another session of the Council of Heads of Security and Special Services Agencies of the CIS was held yesterday in Moscow. I am pleased to welcome our colleagues from other Commonwealth nations, who are here with us today in this hall. I thank you for your constructive approach, for your readiness to engage in joint work to ensure the security of our common Eurasian territory.
Friends, I want to thank the personnel of all the Russian special services for your conscientious attitude toward your duties, for your devotion and courage. I am confident that you will continue to fulfil the tasks set before you at the highest level. In turn, the government will continue to do everything necessary to increase the security agencies’ capabilities, strengthening their human resources and technical facilities and social guarantees.
Starting from January 1, 2013, as you know, the service pay for personnel and service members of the Federal Security Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Federal Guard Service and the Main Directorate of Special Programmes of the President will increase significantly. Already this year, pensions for veterans increased by an average of 1.5-fold.
We are resolving the housing issue. In five years, the number of FSB personnel on waiting lists has been reduced ten-fold. More than 11,600 apartments were allocated this year. Personnel at other services are receiving new apartments as well. We will continue this work.
In conclusion, I once again congratulate both veterans and current security services officers on your – our – professional holiday. I wish you all the very best.