Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.
I think your commanders have told you about the importance of the Pacific Fleet more than once. And I wrote in the visitors’ book: The Pacific Fleet has been and will be one of the main guarantors of Russia’s interests not only in the Far East but in all parts of the Pacific.
In this regard, the people who serve in the fleet face an immense task and an immense responsibility but also the very honourable task of securing the interests of your Homeland. The commanders report that recently the interaction between the various elements of the fleet and auxiliary units has improved and the personnel training has been upgraded.
You know that the country has adopted a naval doctrine to the year 2020. Although not all of you will choose the Navy as your career, today you are in the Navy and you should know that a naval strategy until the year 2020 has been adopted and a military board has been formed under the Prime Minister. A programme of modernisation and the building of new vessels has been approved.
All this has been done to ensure that the nation and the country’s leadership constantly keep the Navy, its problems and its modernisation within their sights in order to make our Navy modern, increase its combat readiness and make sure that the Navy lives up to the tasks I mentioned in the beginning. But naturally, since we are meeting with you, I would be interested to know your opinions on serving in the Navy, how your service is and what ideas and considerations you have in this regard.