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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good evening comrades and friends!
Officers, generals! Interior Ministry veterans! Friends!
First of all, I would like to sincerely congratulate all of you on your professional holiday. This year, its title has been changed slightly and it is celebrated as Internal Affairs Agency Workers’ Day, but changing the title does not mean changing the meaning of the celebration, or its national significance. And just as before, it is celebrated across our entire nation, because the Ministry of the Interior is a very large agency that works throughout Russia’s territory.
This holiday symbolises the best qualities of the Interior Ministry staff. The best qualities that are important for our citizens: their readiness to help and defend our citizens’ rights and even their lives, often giving their own, and flawlessly carrying out their duties.
On this day, I would like to say the warmest words, to thank the Interior Ministry’s veterans, many of whom fought in the Great Patriotic War or were engaged in other conflicts.
Three days ago, we marked the 70th anniversary since the historic parade on Red Square of November 7, 1941. Marching side-by-side with the regular troops were NKVD units, which defended the close-in boundaries of our capital.
”The Ministry of the Interior, its subdivisions and its agencies have always been and remain a key government institution. But like all government institutions, they must change and meet present-day requirements.“
The Ministry of the Interior, its subdivisions and its agencies have always been and remain a key government institution. But like all government institutions, they must change and meet present-day requirements.
This year, a police force has been created within the Interior Ministry, and massive changes were made to improve the work of internal affairs agencies. This might be the most radical reform of the last several decades. We have improved personnel selection mechanisms, and police officers today must have full-fledged, preferably deep knowledge of the law, special and physical training, and an impeccable reputation.
The Russian police force must become a new agency, not just in name, but first and foremost, in quality of service. The reform is intended to increase the efficacy of our work in fighting crime, corruption, and extremism, ensuring a reliable protection of our democratic rights, the freedoms of our citizens and their property, and of course, improving crime-solving.
You have always had to deal with some of the most sensitive areas and problems in our society. Today, there are many of them; I have named a few. One other that I must also mention is the housing and utilities sector. We must clean this sector of bribery and embezzlement, and increase financial discipline. This way, we will simplify the lives of very many people.
Comrades, this year has heralded some very important events for the Interior Ministry, which I already mentioned, including certification. It became a very serious exam for all Ministry staff, from squad members to generals, and has demonstrated the most important thing: that the absolute majority of you are professional, skilled and responsible individuals.
I feel that the goal of certification has been achieved, and the current structure and head count of internal affairs agencies is optimal. Thus, we are not planning any new decisions in this area.
”The Russian police force must become a new agency, not just in name, but first and foremost, in quality of service. The reform is intended to increase the efficacy of our work in fighting crime, corruption, and extremism, ensuring a reliable protection of our democratic rights, the freedoms of our citizens and their property, and of course, improving crime-solving.“
At the same time, the state has to provide decent working conditions for the Ministry’s personnel (this is part of the social contract) and increase the prestige of the service itself – not just on paper or in the movies, but in real life.
This year, we passed a long-awaited law on social guarantees for internal affairs agency workers, a law that has been absent for all these years. And just a few days ago, I signed a law that systemises social guarantees and allows us to increase the insurance coverage and one-off payments for the Interior Ministry’s officers.
Beginning next year, the Ministry of the Interior will switch to a new pay and compensation scheme. It will certainly be better than the one we have today. Nevertheless, the government will fully meet all of its obligations in terms of increasing salaries and creating a solid social package (personnel have almost never had this kind of package, because the package that existed in Soviet times is not comparable: our economy and living standards have changed since then). We have already earmarked funds for these purposes in the state budget, which I have personally verified.
I count on you to continue participating in the reorganisation process, improving your professional skills and promoting the changes happening in our nation and the Interior Ministry. And naturally, your personal involvement and your authority will continue to be the basis for building our citizens’ trust toward the Ministry of the Interior. Remember that this trust will extend to how they judge the government, because you are at the frontlines in communicating with our people, which is most important.
I want to once again sincerely congratulate all of you and all the veterans, as well as your families, on this holiday. Thank you for your bravery and your conscientious service to our great nation. I wish you good health and success, and all the very best for your families.
Friends, have a very happy holiday.