Meeting with officers appointed to senior command positions

Officers appointed to senior command positions were presented and had their senior military (special) titles conferred at a ceremony held in the Grand Kremlin Palace’s St George Hall.

The Kremlin, Moscow
At a meeting with officers appointed to senior command positions.
Meeting with officers appointed to senior command positions.
At a meeting with officers appointed to senior command positions.
Meeting with officers appointed to senior command positions.
At a meeting with officers appointed to senior command positions.

Appointed to senior positions were officers from the Defence Ministry, Interior Ministry, Emergency Situations Ministry, Federal Security Service, Foreign Intelligence Service, Federal Drug Control Service, Investigative Committee, Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, and Federal Penitentiary Service.

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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, it is a pleasure to congratulate you on your appointment to senior command positions and on your new military titles.

This represents a big step forward in your professional careers, but above all, it also broadens your professional duties and places new demands on your work. I am sure that all of you are very much aware of this.

I hope that you will act competently and decisively, fully conscious of your responsibility towards our country for guaranteeing our national interests and our people’s security.

We see that there are many potential threats in the world today. They include protracted local conflicts, international terrorism, and trans-border crime. All of these threats require us to work consistently on strengthening Russia’s armed forces, special services, and law enforcement agencies.

It is especially important to modernise our Armed Forces as the key guarantor of our country’s sovereignty and of global and regional stability. The priority here is to develop a modern troop command system, equip units with the latest arms (I hope to hear a report on one of the key areas here today), man them with contract servicemen, and improve military skill. 

Positive results have been achieved in all of these areas recently. The snap military exercises in the Central and Southern military districts and the Black Sea Fleet demonstrated a high level of combat readiness and professional training.

The state arms procurement programme is being carried out consistently. The Navy commissioned the new Yury Dolgoruky nuclear submarine, and ten strategic missile forces’ regiments have received new missile systems. 

The Voronezh-DM radar station, which enhances our aerospace defence in the strategic southern and southeast directions has completed successful tests.

We are in the process of putting in place a Russian naval task force in the Mediterranean Sea.

We are carrying out our plans to recruit privates and sergeants through military service contracts. All of the paratrooper and assault paratrooper units will be manned with contract servicemen by the end of this year, as will a large part of the special forces and marines units. 

We will continue improving military bases and garrisons and developing social infrastructure. Fifty modern military garrisons will be commissioned this year, and this number will increase to around 500 by 2017.

Developing cooperation with our allies, especially with other CSTO member countries, is an unquestionable priority. We will get the chance this autumn to test our tactical work and coordination of joint operations during Russian-Belarusian strategic exercises Zapad 2013. We will continue building up our defence capability and will carry out the ambitious military development programme that we have set. 

The law enforcement and intelligence agencies have big and important tasks before them today. Society wants to see decisive results from the police in fighting crime and corruption, providing reliable protection of citizens’ rights, and ensuring law and order in the streets and safe driving on the roads.

We need to be firm in resisting extremists who try to use radical nationalist and separatist slogans and who seek to divide our country and weaken its unity.

We must keep particularly close watch on the situation in the North Caucasus. We must be firm and consistent in fighting corruption, crime, and the armed underground. This is essential for creating a healthier situation and ensuring broad public support for our actions.

As before, fighting terrorism remains an area of particular importance for the Federal Security Service. We need to use the latest methods and improve coordination between antiterrorist organisations. We see that we can achieve the kind of positive and much-needed results that our country and people need.

Other important areas include counter intelligence work of course. Recent events have shown that this work not only has not lost its importance but is maybe more relevant than ever.

The Foreign Intelligence Service also has big demands before it. Your direct responsibility is to provide comprehensive analysis of key international and regional events and calculate the possibilities of potential conflicts that would affect our national interests.

Russia’s rescue services work very hard and effectively. You have contributed greatly to minimising damage from the spring floods. During the summer period we will need to pay close attention to ensuring the firefighting services have the equipment they need. 

The Federal Drug Control Service has dealt some serious blows to drug traffickers of late. You need to continue working on suppressing drug trafficking channels and enhance your cooperation with other countries and with colleagues from other agencies and departments.

The Federal Penitentiary Service has some serious problems to resolve. One of them is modernising the correction facilities’ infrastructure. The confinement conditions should be up to modern civilised standards and security should be reliable and effective. 

The Investigative Committee’s main tasks include improving the quality of investigations, especially investigations of serious and very serious crimes, and that includes high-profile crimes.

Colleagues, we will continue working together with our partners in the United Nations on peacekeeping issues. As you know, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently made a working visit to Russia.

He asked us if we would increase our involvement in the UN peacekeeping operations. Looking at the difficult situation today in the Golan Heights, we could take over from the outgoing Austrian contingent on the demarcation line between the Israeli forces and the Syrian army. Of course, this would happen only if the regional powers support the idea, and if the UN Secretary-General asks us to do this. 

Comrade officers, I am sure that you will do everything necessary to effectively resolve the tasks before you and loyally serve our Motherland. I wish you good health, new achievements in your careers, and happiness and prosperity for your families.

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