Vladimir Putin: Esteemed members of the Board,
Comrade officers and generals,
I would like to single out just some of the tasks facing the FSB this year. The main priorities of your work remain unchanged. They are protecting the state and society from external and internal threats, protecting the rights of citizens and democratic values, and ensuring the national security of Russia in the broadest sense of the word.
The fight against terrorism in all its forms is of course the top priority. And in connection with this, I would like to note the effective work of the operational staff in the North Caucasus region. It has recently been working in a more organised way, for which most of the credit goes to the FSB. Your service here is the spearhead and therefore I ask you to pay special attention to the political process in the Chechen Republic.
You know that the preparation for the constitutional referendum is getting underway. I would like to remind you that the first push for that process was given by the initiative put forward by the representatives of the Chechen public. And we know the conditions in which it was done. It was done in the wake of the terrorist attack at Dubrovka when representatives of the Chechen intelligentsia and the Chechen people wanted to prove that it was wrong to equate terrorists with the Chechen people. The Chechen people must be granted the right to make their choice. I am absolutely convinced that we must support this initiative emanating from the republic. Maximum effort must be exerted to ensure public security and prevent provocations there.
I would like to note the cooperation of the FSB with our partners in the anti-terrorist coalition. Some evident successes were achieved in that field last year. We have amassed considerable experience coordinating the operational and information work. But we should not stop there. International cooperation in the counterterrorist sphere is not only an issue of security, but a key factor of our foreign policy as a whole, a factor that is very important for Russia’s relations with its allies and partners worldwide.
Dear colleagues, I assume that during our conversation today many other relevant issues will be touched upon, including economic security and the protection of business. There is much work to be done in fighting illegal migration, extremism and organised crime.
However, to proceed in all these areas in a competent way, we need well trained personnel. In connection with this, I would like to recognise the marked progress achieved in strengthening the Federal Security Service structurally and in terms of personnel. However, there are still challenges in connection with the reserve for promotion, personnel rotation and the search for new approaches to career planning for the members of the Federal Security Service.
Besides, the analytical potential of the service must be built up more vigorously. I would like to repeat that today it is extremely important to react promptly to the new emerging threats and to the changes in their character.
And finally, the Federal Security Service is an inalienable part of the system of state democratic institutions. It should conduct its activities within the framework of the single strategy of the country’s development.
In connection with this, in your day-to-day work and in your planning I urge you to proceed from the whole body of current doctrinal documents in the sphere of foreign, defence and internal policy. The tools that you possess are extremely strong, and their use must match the present state of political, economic and social processes in Russia.
I am convinced that the security bodies will continue to pursue the course of democratisation for the service, its openness to society and commitment to society’s needs. I am convinced that this is the guarantee of your professional success and public confidence in your service.
Thank you for your attention.