First of all, I want to congratulate you and, in your person, the Russian special services on this professional holiday. For many generations of workers this day has become a symbol of courage, dedication to a cause, and selfless service to his or her Homeland.
Epochs have changed, the customary perceptions and political assessments have been broken, but the security of the Fatherland, the defence of its sovereign interests, and most importantly – the security of our citizens – always remains the chief objective of your work. Responsible and complex work, requiring high competence, personal irreproachability and great courage.
Over the decades the professional experience, intellectual and technical potential of the country's security services has been amassed. Many operations are rightfully recognised as a model of operational resourcefulness, of operational art, ability and scrupulous analytical work. Recognised not only at home, but throughout the world as well.
Very high demands are also being made of the security agencies today, in the new century. This is dictated by the degree of danger and by the very character of present-day threats, primarily the threat of international terrorism.
You know that in the outgoing year new steps were taken to optimise the system of security agencies. The aim of those steps is to raise the effectiveness of the special services, to strengthen inter-agency coordination and to concentrate manpower and resources. And, essentially, to make more efficient and effective the country’s defence against the potential and actual threats that we face today. Threats both internal and external. And I must note: we have positive results from those transformations.
Thanks largely to the work of the Federal Security Service and Border Service, and other structures, law and order has been strengthened in the Caucasus, in the Chechen Republic. Important political measures, both the referendum and the election for president of Chechnya, were carried out with their cooperation.
Of primary significance in our days must be the prevention of terrorist acts, the averting of any new attacks and provocations by insurgents.
And it is obvious that advanced tactics, and extensive information and analytical work are needed here. You well understand: the price of delay, the price of a loss of initiative here is extremely high. We are paying for this in blood. In the lives of our comrades and civilians.
A serious factor of stability, as well as of the enhancement of the economic competitiveness of Russia in the world, is the activities of the foreign intelligence agencies. Their information always was and remains a major component of the mechanism for adopting state decisions.
Russian society awaits productive work in other areas as well – that being carried out by the Federal Protection Service, in the struggle against corruption, the drug trade and organised crime. On the whole it awaits tangible results in ensuring a calm and safe life for the citizens of Russia.
In conclusion I will say once more: the chief objective of the Russian special services is the security of the state and the protection of people and their rights and freedoms. Protection with the strict observance of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the principles of democracy. Protection while strictly abiding by legal norms and taking into account the lawful interests and requirements of the citizens of Russia.
The country must be certain: its security is in the hands of real professionals.
I want today, on this festive day for you, to thank the workers of the special services for their conscientious and selfless work. Once again, I congratulate you on this holiday. I wish you success, personal happiness and well-being to you and your loved ones.