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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers,
It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Kremlin and congratulate you on your senior command appointments and new military ranks.
You have received considerable powers – additional powers for most of you – and at the same time new and greater responsibility for ensuring the security of our country and its people, for shaping and developing our modernised Armed Forces, law enforcement agencies and security services, and for strengthening the moral spirit among our servicemen.
This is more important than ever today, at a time when rising tension in the world requires us to improve our National Security Strategy. We must take into account the changing situation not only on our own borders but in other parts of the world too, in the Middle East, the arc of instability across North Africa, and Afghanistan.
“We will bring the share of new generation arms and equipment up to 30 percent of the total over the next three years, and up to 70 percent, and even 100 percent for some models – over the next five years.”
Reliably ensuring Russia’s security is our undisputed priority. We are modernising our Armed Forces, optimising the command system, and re-equipping them. The commissioning of the submarine Yury Dolgoruky – the first Borey design missile carrier – will be a big event for the Navy. We will bring the share of new generation arms and equipment up to 30 percent of the total over the next three years, and up to 70 percent, and even 100 percent for some models – over the next five years.
We will focus particularly on strengthening the officer corps and introducing modern training methods for officers. Training and teaching soldiers is one of the officers’ most important duties. The role of officer as teacher, helping to form a positive moral and psychological climate in the military units, is becoming ever more important today.
One of the key modernisation areas is the transition to modern standards for conscription and contract service. Our target is to bring the number of contract servicemen among soldiers and sergeants up to 425,000 by 2017. You have spent your lives serving in the Armed Forces and other security or law and order agencies, and many of you know that at the moment we have only 186,000 contract servicemen at this level. The task is thus not easy, but we will work on reaching this target, and will provide these people with a solid package of social protection guarantees, service pay, and give them preferential treatment in entering university or civil service. In other words, we will get the social elevators working again for people who serve their country. This should be effective.
There has been big change in the law enforcement system too. Naturally, people expect effective protection of their rights and interests, protection of public order, and an uncompromising fight against corruption and organised crime. Professionalism, loyalty to your oath of service and to your duty must be priorities for all military servicemen and all Interior Ministry personnel.
The Federal Security Service has a key role to play in preventing terrorist threats and protecting the country’s and society’s interests. You should get early warning of all kinds of criminal plans and take timely action against attempts to destabilise the social and political situation in the country in general. The North Caucasus also remains a region of particular concern.
The defence of our borders, the border guards service, and monitoring the use of state funds allocated for holding big international events such as the Sochi Winter Olympics or the APEC summit in Vladivostok are also priority areas for your attention. We are spending tens of billions of rubles on these international events.
The Foreign Intelligence Service has important tasks before it in the fast-changing international situation. Timely information gathering, full and rapid analysis, and forecasts of how events will develop in the world give us a solid base for setting and implementing domestic and foreign policy.
The Federal Guard Service displays a high level of professionalism in carrying out its duties. Timely work to keep the Service properly technically equipped and ensure it has the human resources it needs should make its work even more effective.
Countering terrorism, extremism and crime is not possible without competent and well-organised work by the investigative agencies. I remind you that we established the Investigative Committee as an independent body last year and gave it substantial powers. We hope its work will increase the number of crimes solved and improve the quality of investigations.
The Federal Drug Control Service must work together with the other law enforcement agencies, bolster its human resources and technical capabilities, and be more active in exchanging information with colleagues in Russia and abroad. It should take a balanced and modern approach to preventing and treating drug addiction and promoting a healthy lifestyle, focusing above all on young people. It is young people too, after all, who shape the face of our modern Armed Forces.
“The recent tragedy in Krasnodar Territory, in which dozens of people were killed and much damage caused, showed once again how important it is to have a modern public emergency warning system. This should be a centralised and technically reliable system that functions throughout the entire country.”
Maintaining a healthy atmosphere among the troops and building up and training conscripts’ and junior command staff’s psychological stability depends directly on the level of discipline and on fighting crime and hazing in the army. The military prosecutors must keep close watch on these matters.
Also present today are representatives of the Emergencies Ministry. With its vast territory and diverse natural and climate conditions, Russia has particular need of a service that can react fast and flexibly to any unexpected situations, and all the more so to predictable events such as major forest fires and floods. The recent tragedy in Krasnodar Territory, in which dozens of people were killed and much damage caused, showed once again how important it is to have a modern public emergency warning system. This should be a centralised and technically reliable system that functions throughout the entire country, in towns and in the countryside, at industrial facilities and social infrastructure facilities, and that covers all population groups without exception: adults, children, the elderly, people with disabilities. Warnings should be sent out using various information channels, including fixed and mobile telephones. You should use other modern methods too, and also perhaps at first glance more primitive but effective methods for warning people. This will help to save our citizens’ lives.
Colleagues, I am sure that you realise the scale of the tasks at hand and will make every effort to fulfil them.
Once more, I congratulate you on your new titles and appointments. I hope they will encourage you to pursue new achievements in the service of Russia and its people.
I wish you health, prosperity, and good fortune. I wish your families all the best too.
Thank you for your attention.
Comrade officers, once more, I congratulate you and wish you success.
Service in the military and in the law enforcement and security organisations is not easy and requires great attention and responsibility, but it is very honourable, for it is service to our country.
I congratulate you and wish you success.