Vladimir Putin said the security agencies of Russia had become part of the democratic system, as well as its natural and essential component, in the last 10 years.
President Putin set forth security-agency tasks, primarily efforts to counter foreign intelligence operations. Mr Putin said national security and economic competitiveness depended on the performance of the security agencies.
President Putin said that high-priority tasks included the fight against terrorism, that Russia had become the first country to face all-out terrorist attacks in modern times, and that national secret-service operations had dealt the first serious blow to international terrorism. Mr Putin stressed the fight against terrorism was difficult and cruel and asked those present to stand in silence for a moment and to remember those killed in action.
President Putin said it was important that national secret services be open to the media because Russians deserved to know about the problems and results of their work.
Prior to the official function, Mr Putin met with the families of security-agency operatives killed in action and presented them with state awards.