President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Comrades, friends, I congratulate you on Navy Day. This holiday is celebrated with particular significance here on the shores of the Baltic, where the sailors of the Baltic Fleet developed many of our Navy’s glorious traditions. It was their courage that brought Peter the Great victory at the start of the Great Northern War, a victory honoured by the special commemorative medal engraved with the words “The impossible can happen”. The famous [naval] victories at Gangut, Esel, and Grengam all brought Russia the status of full-fledged naval power.
During World War I, the Baltic Fleet sailors prevented the enemy from entering the Gulf of Finland, taking resolute action not just at sea but on land too.
The Baltic Fleet’s battles on the approaches to Leningrad and its heroic defence during the Great Patriotic War hold a special place in its history. The courage and ingenuity the sailors showed back then have become the stuff of legends.
Service in the navy has always demanded high standards of professionalism, endurance, and a great breadth and depth of knowledge. It is not by chance that naval officers were behind so many geographical discoveries and technological inventions.
“The Navy is an essential and reliable part of our national defence. I am sure that your readiness to guarantee our country’s security will help Russia to continue its steady progress and successful development.”
Today’s Baltic Fleet sailors continue the work their predecessors began. Our Armed Forces are in the process of change. The Baltic Fleet has become the main training base for Russia’s naval forces, actively introducing modern arms and technology.
For almost 250 years now, the Baltic Fleet has been carrying out strategic missions beyond its home region too. You have fought piracy off the coast of Somalia, and you take part regularly in international exercises and manoeuvres.
Russia’s naval presence in the world’s oceans has bolstered our country’s standing as a great sea power and demonstrated our Navy’s high level of combat readiness.
The fact that the Baltic Fleet’s main base is located in Russia’s westernmost city further underscores the role it plays in ensuring global stability.
The Navy is an essential and reliable part of our national defence. I am sure that your readiness to guarantee our country’s security will help Russia to continue its steady progress and successful development.
Once again, I congratulate the veterans and all the servicemen on this Navy Day holiday.