Vladimir Putin: Good evening.
I am genuinely happy to congratulate you and your colleagues on your professional holiday and to wish success to all those who have chosen this responsible and challenging work, all those who serve their people and country with honesty and dedication.
And of course, my special words of appreciation to the veterans who have devoted their whole lives to the service. Congratulations, dear friends.
The Russian security agencies have many tasks. Protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens is the most important of these. This is the key to understanding the essence of public security. This is the key to winning the confidence of our citizens. I am sure you are well aware of it.
Among the main tasks facing the security agencies is the fight against terrorism. Russia was the first to be confronted with large-scale manifestations of modern terrorism, terrorism in its new guise.
Our actions delivered the first serious blow on international terrorism as a whole. It is our duty to understand the roots of modern terrorism and the new subversive methods it uses. We know from our own experience that the war on terror is hard and fierce. Every success is achieved at a great cost, including at the cost of human lives, at the cost of the health and lives of our people who secure peace in the country.
I ask you to observe a minute of silence to honour the memory of all the security officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.
One of the main areas of the work of the security agencies is to counteract the activities of foreign special services. The strength of our “counterintelligence shield” determines not only the security of the country but to a large extent the competitiveness of our national economy.
National special services throughout the world protect the economies of their countries. That work is particularly relevant today. I am glad to note that not only the FSB, but other Russian special services have made considerable progress in this area.
On this festive day you will of course be remembering the highlights of the history of the special services in this country. Of course there are many highlights. And we should not be shy about being proud of that history, being proud of the heroes and their exploits.
Public awareness of the importance of your work and public trust is the main reserve of the security agencies today. That is why it is so important and necessary for the special services in this country to be open to the media. For all the special character of your activities, Russian citizens have the right to know about your problems and the most important results of your work. And I think you are not just ready for it, but it seems to me that the special services themselves are interested in it.
This year the new Russian special services, like the new Russia itself, are marking their 10th anniversary. I would like to stress that of course the history of our security services is much longer. Our country, like any state, needed to protect its national interests at all the stages in its development. The question was how these interests were interpreted and what means were used to protect them.
I believe that the main result of the work of the special services in the past 10 years is that they have become an organic part of the system of democratic government, its natural and necessary component.
But it is equally obvious that we all have to work very hard for democracy and rule of law to be finally established in society and government, for the rights and freedoms of citizens to be secured. This is the main policy task of all the government bodies, not least of the security agencies.
In conclusion, I would like to thank you again for your fortitude and perseverance, your hard work and loyalty.
And of course I would like to convey the warmest wishes to your families: fathers and mothers, wives and husbands. They love you and they feel for you. And you are aware of their support at critical moments.
I congratulate you all on this holiday. I wish you all the best.