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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Comrade officers,
Today, we are celebrating a special event: the presentation of the banner of the Federal Drug Control Service.
The banner is both an official symbol and a relic – a relic that will belong to your Service. It will embody your agency’s traditions, symbolising honour and devotion to your duties.
Your Service is among the youngest of our law-enforcement agencies – this year will mark its 10th anniversary. And all this time, its work has been subject to very high demands given the scope and seriousness of the problem it tackles.
Overall, the Service has responded to the challenges put before it and, most importantly, it has been countering the drug threat for all these years. Time and again, its staff has demonstrated professionalism, responsibility, and responsiveness in resolving the goals set before it. Many of the Service’s officers have been awarded state decorations.
You are actively engaged in your work, participating in the preparation of corresponding draft laws and giving priority attention to anti-drug efforts, especially fighting drug abuse among young people.
It is of particular significance to your Service that in the past several years, we have broadened cooperation with special services in neighbouring nations through which drugs are trafficked. Again, this is extremely important for your Service, because it is impossible to fight this evil — fight drug-related crimes and drug abuse in general, — alone. Thanks to the joint operations carried out, we have liquidated many corridors for trafficking drugs to Russia.
The Service’s overall performance last year is quite impressive. In 2011, the amount of confiscated narcotics, psychotropic and potent substances and their precursors amounted to almost 47 tonnes, increasing by a third against 2010.
Naturally, there are some problems as well. It is imperative to further develop the Service’s human resource and technical potential. A modern approach is needed to address such issues as drug addiction prevention and promotion of a healthy lifestyle. We also need to launch awareness-raising programs and work closely with society, at all levels, using modern communication forms, including social networks, which, unfortunately, are also used for drug distribution.
The current situation also calls for expansion of the FDCS’ scope of operations and active exchange of operational information and experience with all nations: our key partners in the CIS, Europe, Asia and America. All of this can help to expose major drug supply chains and ultimately allow us to create a more efficient and potent barrier for protecting our nation from drug traffickers.
I count on the FDCS staff to continue successfully tackling the tasks in hand, protecting public interests, and ensuring security of our nation in your very complex area of work.
In conclusion, please allow me to congratulate the Service’s top officials, its active officers and those who have already retired and are now veterans on today’s significant event. I wish you good health and future success with all my heart.