The President also laid flowers at a memorial to Interior Ministry officers killed in the line of duty.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, colleagues,
I meet quite frequently with the Interior Ministry heads and staff to discuss the key law enforcement issues, and service in the police force and other Interior Ministry organisations. These meetings give us the chance to assess how the work is going to reshape and develop the law enforcement bodies in accordance with the new laws.
Last year was very important in this respect because we adopted the basic laws, carried out the work to reform the Interior Ministry, and formed the new legislative foundations, including particularly important federal laws. I am referring to the laws on the police force, on social protection guarantees, and on service in the Interior Ministry organisations. These are the laws that I think will define the social status of Interior Ministry personnel and the terms and conditions of work in the police force and the ministry in general over the next few decades.
We have improved the ministry’s organisational structure. I hope it is a more optimum structure now, although no organisation is ever perfect of course and the adjustment and fine-tuning process always keeps going. If needed, we will take steps to further improve the organisational structure. The police force has been established as an institution now and the Interior Ministry personnel have undergone a thorough renewal, including at the senior levels.
I note in particular that the authorities have met in full their commitments to fund social protection programs and strengthen social protection guarantees for Interior Ministry personnel. Service pay has more than doubled starting from January 1, and pensions have seen a 1.6-fold increase. I hope the Interior Ministry officers serving throughout our vast country will receive further financial increases this year. This is very important.
It is our priority to ensure decent working conditions in the Interior Ministry. We want the package of material and moral measures we are taking to raise the overall prestige of service in the ministry and help to attract into its ranks young professionals, people capable of filling senior positions, and, most importantly, capable of performing worthy service in our new Interior Ministry and its organisations. It will be their task to ensure the quality of state law enforcement and to reliably protect and defend our citizens’ rights and interests.
Although the ministry was in a state of transformation last year, its staff and organisations did a good job overall in performing their tasks and duties. We will discuss in more detail last year’s results and this year’s prospects and priorities at the [Interior Ministry] Board meeting that will take place very soon.
Today, I note simply that the police force has proven itself to be a modern organisation capable of adapting to our country’s new life and changing situation. The police worked with precision and competence to maintain public safety and law and order and demonstrated proper professional conduct during public events, including the meetings and other events that took place in Moscow and other cities.
The way these events have been organised actually demonstrates the authorities’ increasing responsibility towards society, and also shows the society’s maturity, the maturity of our citizens, who organised all of these events in accordance with the laws, reaching agreement with the city administration on the time and place of meetings and other events. This is precisely the way that various issues are settled in a civilised country, precisely the way in which to build relations between the government bodies, including the law enforcement agencies, and civil society.
But this is just one aspect of the ministry’s work. I want to take the opportunity of this visit to carry out an honorary duty and present state decorations to Interior Ministry staff and servicemen who have distinguished themselves in protecting law and public order.
Let us begin the award ceremony.
Comrades and colleagues,
I congratulate sincerely all of those decorated today, wish you success in your work, and hope that your professional skills will always be up to the mark. I wish all of the Interior Ministry’s staff happiness and health for you and your families in this new year. I hope that we will continue to defend and further the biggest goals and priorities before our country today, the vital duties and tasks that are the responsibility of the police force and the Interior Ministry in general.
The main stage of the Interior Ministry’s transformation is complete now, but we know there is still much more to do in order to make the ministry genuinely modern and ready to meet our society’s demands and the big challenges before us all.
Once again, I congratulate you sincerely and wish success to those decorated today.
Until our next meeting!