President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, comrade officers, veterans,
Please accept my congratulations on your professional holiday – Security Agency Worker’s Day.
Today we honour those who guard Russia’s national interests, protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity, its constitutional order and the safety of its citizens.
This service requires special qualities, special constitution of character and firm faith in one’s country, in the fairness and justice of your cause and in the utmost priority of your Fatherland – this has always been the case throughout the history of security agencies.
The history of special agencies is rich in heroic deeds and legendary names. There is great respect in Russia for the people who protected this country against external and internal threats. We venerate the heroism and steadfastness of our veterans.
Next year we will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory. Security agencies’ officers, intelligence and counterintelligence agents and border guards made a truly priceless contribution to the enemy’s defeat.
This country experienced the Cold War and direct aggression by international terrorism. And security agencies’ agents have always been at the forefront and performed their duty with honour. The same, as we know well, is true of our recent history. I will never forget our men who gave their lives to help the country feel safe in the years when international terrorism was pressing upon us and it seemed as though there would be no end to it.
I am certain that the traditions the security agents are brought up on will serve as a reliable guideline for those who are serving now and for those who are yet to choose this honourable profession – protecting one’s people.
Today much depends on each one of us. This is why such high requirements are imposed on the efficiency and quality of the security agencies’ work.
The global situation is far from stable: the number of threats and risks is growing and norms of international law are being ignored. No means are rejected: blackmail, provocation, economic and informational pressure, staking on radical elements and nationalist groups and attempts to destabilise the internal situation, thus gaining control over whole countries.
Frank statements are being made to the effect that Russia should pay dearly for its independent stance, for its support for its compatriots, for Crimea and Sevastopol – for merely existing, it sometimes seems.
Clearly, no one has ever succeeded in scaring, suppressing or isolating Russia and never will. Such attempts have been made regularly, over the centuries, as I have said publicly on numerous occasions, and in the 20th century it happened several times: in the 1920s, the 1940s and later. It did not work then and it will not work now. Meanwhile, we have to be prepared to experience certain difficulties and always rebuff any threats to our sovereignty, stability and the unity of our society.
In this connection, I would like to highlight once again the importance of fiercely and uncompromisingly combatting terrorism and extremism. This year your resolute action helped prevent 60 terrorist crimes, including 8 acts of terrorism. The activity of 46 terrorist and extremist groups was terminated.
It is necessary to further enhance efficient preventive work and strengthen ties with civic institutions, including work to resist extremism, nationalism and xenophobia.
Counterintelligence units need to be composed and mobilised. Foreign special services specialising on Russia are becoming more active. Thus, last year our counterintelligence agencies alone managed to disclose 230 employees and agents of foreign special services.
We should pay the most serious attention to protecting our national borders, ensuring the stable functioning of government agencies and protecting Russia’s economic interests.
A broad range of tasks faces the Foreign Intelligence Service. Primarily they have to do with predicting and assessing potential risks and threats and analysing the nature and possible development of key international events.
I would also like to note the hard work performed by the Federal Guard Service, primarily to ensure the security of the guests and participants of the Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
I would like to thank you and your colleagues for your honest and conscientious work. I have faith in your patriotism and loyalty to your cause and our Fatherland, in your staunchness and readiness to withstand any trial. I have faith that each one of you will protect the integrity and national interests of our great nation.
Once again, I want to congratulate all those present, all security agencies’ officers and veterans on this professional holiday and wish you all the best in the coming year of 2015.