Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,
Allow me to congratulate you on Russian Navy Day.
Joint Navy Day celebrations are becoming a good tradition in Russia and Ukraine.
It is symbolic that we are marking Navy Day in Sevastopol, which symbolises the legendary glory, valour and bravery of many generations of Black Sea Fleet sailors. The whole world knows such great admirals as Fyodor Ushakov, Pavel Nakhimov, Nikolai Kuznetsov, Sergei Gorshkov and many other admirals, officers and sailors. They have bequeathed lofty examples of military valour, faith and selfless service to their Fatherland.
We bow our heads before the unprecedented heroism of Soviet sailors during the 1941–1945 Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany. Over 350,000 Navy sailors were decorated for bravery and for their heroic exploits; 520 became Heroes of the Soviet Union. We honour and glorify our war veterans, and we will forever remember those who died for the freedom of our Fatherland.
At present, the well-trained personnel of the Russian and Ukrainian Navies operate modern military equipment and weapons, and jointly guard southern borders of the two fraternal Slavic states.
Acting in line with bilateral agreements, the personnel of the Russian Black Sea Fleet improve its combat readiness during joint exercises, ensure regional navigation safety and implement numerous military-patriotic programmes together with municipal authorities.
Together with the President of Ukraine, we are ready to take all necessary action in order to streamline bilateral naval cooperation.
We are very glad to meet with you once again. I am proud of your achievements, and I sincerely wish the Black Sea Fleet and the entire Russian Navy good health and new successes in your efforts to serve the Fatherland.
As President and Commander-In-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces, I would like to stress that the Russian state remembers the Navy, its heroic past, knows about its current problems and will do everything possible to ensure its glorious future.
On July 27, I signed the Russian Maritime Doctrine, the first step in this direction.
The Doctrine will become an effective instrument of the entire state system for regulating and managing maritime activity, for promoting Russian national interests and strengthening its international prestige as a leading maritime power.
This is Russia’s long-term political line in the sphere of maritime activity.
The Russian Government’s emerging Maritime Commission will be responsible for implementing the national maritime policy.
I would like to greet the people of the sunny Crimea and hero-city Sevastopol and to wish them and the entire Ukrainian nation well-being, happiness and prosperity on behalf of the peoples of Russia.
I would like to thank the personnel of the Black Sea Fleet, the high command of the Ukrainian Navy and President Leonid Kuchma of fraternal Ukraine for assisting Russian sailors.
The personnel of the Black Sea Fleet and the Ukrainian Navy ensure the joint security of our states.
Long Live Russia and Ukraine! Congratulations on Navy Day!