President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Naryshkin, the State Duma elections are over, we know the results. You have made a significant contribution to this joint effort. You have been the Speaker of the State Duma for years, and prior to that worked as Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office.
Everything is moving on, everything is changing for us. I believe that in your previous positions, including such an important one as State Duma Speaker, you have successfully discharged your duties and justified the confidence placed in you by the deputies when they elected you Speaker of the State Duma.
With this in mind, I would like to offer you a job in the executive branch, to be more precise – in one of our leading special services. I would like to propose that you head the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia.
Mr Fradkov has been heading the Service for nine years. As we recently discovered, this is a record term in that office. Throughout those years, while operating in absolutely new conditions, the Service made great strides toward consolidation, by which I also mean consolidating the staff and feedback from such a critical component of the state mechanism as intelligence, from the point of view of ensuring the operation of the supreme bodies of power.
I would like to thank you, Mr Fradkov, for your work. You are actually well known: you used to be a Government minister, and Prime Minister, and you performed your duties in this critical position in the best possible way. Thank you very much.
Mikhail Fradkov: Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: As we discussed earlier, I expect that all your skills and expertise will be employed for the benefit of the country, of the state, in a different place. Let us talk about it in greater detail.
Mr Naryshkin, I would like to wish you success. You are well aware, just as we all are, of the situation we are now in and how important the success of the Service is for this country’s reliable development. How important it is for addressing threats against Russia before it is too late, for preventing their proliferation, averting them, neutralising these threats at early stages and working toward positive goals. I am referring to cooperation with our partners in the main areas, primarily in fighting terror and of course providing quality, reliable information to the President and the Government of the Russian Federation so that we can make well thought-out and balanced decisions in the interest of the Russian people. I hope that you will cope with your tasks as successfully as you did in your previous positions.
Sergei Naryshkin: Mr President, first, thank you very much for your positive appraisal of my work in the position of State Duma Speaker over the past five years.
I regard your offer as an assignment from the head of state and the Supreme Commander in Chief. I understand very well the non-public character of the Foreign Intelligence Service’s activity, especially compared to the State Duma. At the same time, I realise that the scope of tasks and the Service’s contribution to ensuring the state’s strategic interests is enormous. Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Naryshkin, everybody knows that you followed a difficult path during the election campaign and had no plans to surrender your seat. I would like to apologise to your voters who put their trust in you by electing you a State Duma deputy.
I hope that people will understand. The area that is being offered to you is no less important than a deputy’s work. We should think of the people who voted for you as having, in a sense, delegated you to this highly responsible position.
Sergei Naryshkin: Mr President, thank you for saying this as well. I would like to use this opportunity to once again thank my countrymen, my voters, Leningraders, for the trust they have placed in me – twice now. Thank you.
Mikhail Fradkov: For my part, Mr President, I would like to thank you for your high assessment of the Foreign Intelligence Service as a whole and of my humble contribution, as well as for the trust that you have given me over the many years that I have held high positions of authority, including as director of the Foreign Intelligence Service.
It is an exciting and important job. I am pleased that you have chosen Mr Naryshkin with whom I have worked side by side in the Government for a long time and who is a friend. As part of this trust-based and non-public relationship – which is also not an insignificant factor – I will pass on everything I know to Mr Naryshkin, and I believe that he will work in this sphere just as effectively as he has up to now. Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.