Vladimir Putin: First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the promotion to higher ranks and new positions and wish you professional and personal success.
Recently we have been doing much to strengthen the military organisation of the state. The past year has confirmed the timeliness of the actions aimed at improving the performance of the whole body of military and security units.
But it is no secret that the dynamics of the international situation and the situation inside the country requires still greater dedication on our part. But the main task is the fight against international terrorism and its new manifestations.
In connection with this, Russia seeks to strengthen collective security measures, including cooperation with the anti-terrorist coalition. The new mechanism of Russia-NATO interaction is being fine-tuned.
But it would be unforgivable and stupid to forget that the main role in ensuring the security of Russia and its citizens belongs to our own defence capability. So the modernisation of our armed forces remains undoubtedly the prime task. The task for the current period is to optimise the structure of military units and subsequently switch to recruitment under contract.
It is equally important to raise the combat ability of the troops and provide them with new-generation weapons and military equipment.
It is necessary to ensure the continuity of command officer personnel and enforce discipline in the military units.
Finally, another important task is to improve the work of the military prosecution bodies and upgrade the qualifications of their personnel. I believe it to be exceedingly important because today they do not only strengthen legality in the military units but also protect the rights of servicemen and members of their families.
The key role in ensuring the security of our citizens belongs to the Interior Ministry bodies.
I would like to note that last year they improved their performance in many ways. Yet even these results still fall short of the current large-scale tasks in this sphere. People look to the personnel of the Interior Ministry and other law enforcement bodies to effectively protect their legitimate rights and interests. And the Ministry must deliver.
The personnel of the Interior Ministry bodies must have a high level of professional skill; they must be professionals in the highest sense of the word. In connection with this, drastic changes are needed in their training, which will be done through improvements in personnel training, the creation of the Moscow University of the Interior Ministry and other measures aimed at improving things.
We discussed the key areas of the work of the Federal Security Service at a recent expanded meeting of the FSB Collegium. They are the continuation of the operation in the North Caucasus and efforts against terrorist and extremist groups. Another task is the neutralization of the activities of foreign special services and protection of the interests of the Russian economy.
The Federal Border Service faces a wide range of tasks. First of all, it is developing the border infrastructure designed not only to protect our frontiers, but also to preserve the natural and bio-resources. It should open new opportunities for expanding cross-border economic cooperation.
National interests cannot be ensured without the efficient work of the External Intelligence Service. Accurate information provided by the External Intelligence Service about the forms and character of global and regional threats is the necessary basis for making prompt and well-calculated government decisions.
The Federal Government Communications and Information Agency faces serious tasks in ensuring the country’s information security, including the protection of economic and financial secrets. I expect that work in this sphere will be effective and well coordinated.
The powerful capability of the Russian Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief has been demonstrated by the international rescue and humanitarian operations in which the Ministry has taken part. But improving the integrated system of early warning and settlement of emergency situations and the development of its regional and functional components are still on the agenda.