President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrades,
It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Kremlin and congratulate you on your new appointments and military and special titles.
We are meeting on the eve of National Unity Day, which celebrates the events of 1612, when the militia forces led by Minin and Pozharsky liberated Moscow from the invaders. This holiday symbolises our unity and strength of spirit, which have helped us to overcome any obstacles and difficulties and achieve victory.
Russia’s 1000-year history is rich in such memorable dates. Our soldiers and commanders have always carried out their duties with honour and have defended and protected our homeland.
I have no doubt that you will remain true to these traditions. Your professionalism, experience and the results you have achieved deserve the highest praise. Our country has entrusted to you even more important and responsible missions for our security and defence.
We set these missions in part on the basis of what is happening in the world in general. The twenty-first century world has not become more stable or safer. Past threats have not vanished, are still present, and in some regions have become even more serious. We still have a serious hotbed of tension right on our borders, in southeast Ukraine.
Attempts to upset strategic parity continue. The world’s leading powers continue to develop and perfect their arsenals. As you know, at NATO’s September summit, the organisation’s leaders publicly stated their plans to build up their military capability.
Instead of collective and civilised resolution of the world’s problems, we see more and more often the use of force and of economic and information pressure.
Let me stress the point that Russia has no intention of being dragged into the confrontation that others are trying by force to impose on us. We are open to equal and respectful dialogue on all issues on the global and regional agendas.
Our military doctrine is solely defensive in nature. Its main goal is to ensure our country’s sovereignty and guarantee peace and calm for our people.
We will work steadily and meticulously to carry out all of our plans to develop and modernise the armed forces and other organisations responsible for our national security. This concerns above all supplies of up-to-date equipment.
New arms now make up around 55 percent of the Strategic Missile Forces’ arms, around 35 percent in the Air Force, and more than 50 percent in the Navy. As for the ground forces, armoured and other vehicles have been almost 70-percent modernised. Our industry will continue to develop its capabilities and quality as it carries out state defence orders.
The level of combat training in the different units has increased substantially. This was demonstrated by the recent snap inspections that involved nearly every branch of the armed forces and also by the more than 3,000 exercises at different levels, including the Vostok-2014 strategic exercises.
I want to thank everyone who took part in these exercises and showed their modern training, skills and moral and professional qualities.
The special services and law enforcement agencies face particularly great demands today. Federal Security Service (FSB) and law enforcement personnel have prevented 58 terrorism-related crimes since the start of the year, including eight terrorist attacks.
We must continue working with just as much determination and professionalism to act swiftly to prevent the actions of those who seek to attack Russia’s constitutional foundations and who call for violence and ethnic and religious hatred.
Under the National Antiterrorism Committee’s aegis, it is important to continue improving the antiterrorism system and use new methods for combating this threat.
The Interior Ministry must work more effectively. You need to raise the number of crimes solved and respond immediately to attempts to destabilise public order.
The Foreign Intelligence Service always has a broad range of tasks before it. Your timely information makes a real contribution to defending Russia’s national interests and developing its defence, economic and science and technology potential.
The Investigative Committee’s priorities include combating corruption-related crimes. Most of these crimes are latent and hidden in nature, and so the evidential base in such cases must be flawless.
Work also needs to be completed on setting up the Investigative Committee’s offices in the two new federal entities – Crimea and Sevastopol. Our citizens there must feel confident that they have reliable protection of their rights and interests.
The Emergencies Ministry’s personnel are very effective in their work. During the spring flood period they carried out successful rescue operations in Altai Territory and republics of Tyva, Altai and Khakassia. Russian rescue workers have taken part in a number of important international missions and have risked their lives getting humanitarian aid into Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.
Let me note in particular the Emergencies Ministry’s work to deal with the arrival of displaced people from Ukraine. Representatives from the office of the UN High Commissioner [for Refugees] gave a high assessment of the temporary shelters prepared for the winter period, and our programmes to help the refugees settle into new life here have been called an example of new practice in this area.
The Federal Drug Control Service’s big task today is to continue the decisive fight against the drug threat. You must work more effectively to coordinate the efforts of the different agencies engaged in this area and together with the legislators improve the legal instruments for preventing illegal production and sale of drugs.
The Federal Penitentiary Service has responsible missions to perform. They include achieving greater use of modern standards for detention facilities and reliable security of the facilities under your control.
In conclusion, I want to congratulate you once again on your new appointments and your new military and special titles.
I wish you good health and new successes in protecting our country’s interests. Thank you for your service.
Each of you has travelled a long road in your career development. You are not here by chance but in recognition of your merits and achievements. At the same time, the country is putting its trust in you in advance, hoping that you will use your experience, knowledge, talent and character to achieve the important new results our people want to see. I wish you success in this work.
I wish good health to you and your families.