Good afternoon, colleagues,
I would like to congratulate you on the award of military ranks and appointments to new positions. And I expect that you will continue to carry out your duty, and reliably protect the interests of the state, citizens and all of Russian society.
Among the tasks entrusted to you as top-ranking officers, the priorities remain ensuring the security of the state, fighting terrorism and crime, protecting the country’s borders and responding to the consequences of emergency situations.
It is clear that the solution to these tasks depends in many ways on the level of your training, on your ability to act precisely and efficiently. I expect that all serving officers understand in full measure the degree of responsibility that lies on each and every one of you.
Last year we did a great deal to consolidate military organisation and the law-enforcement bodies of the state. And so there is every reason to expect that there will now be a fundamental increase in the effectiveness of their work.
The process of modernising the armed forces continues. The staff structure of the army and navy has become more optimal. Alert units are being recruited from contract soldiers. Our troops have begun to use new kinds of weaponry and technology. The material provisions for serving officers are gradually improving.
At the same time, a great deal remains to be done to increase the professional training of officers and soldiers, and the quality of military instruction. Particular attention should be given to educational work. I would like to point out that this is a very important component of military service. You should be extremely attentive to the staff.
The key task of the Russian law-enforcement departments and special services remains the war on terror, and protecting civilians from terrorist attacks. Three or four years ago, terrorists did not expect such swift growth in the fighting efficiency of our armed forces and special anti-terrorist units. They also did not expect such a consolidation of Russian society in protecting the foundations of our statehood. After suffering a defeat in an open confrontation, despite their numerous boasts, they use terrorist attacks to try to create panic, fear and distrust of authority among the civilian population, and thus break the will of the Russian people in their right to consolidate democracy, freedom, and the territorial integrity of our country.
Therefore, special attention needs to be given today to the effectiveness of operative work and developing tactics that can prevent the threat of terrorist attacks.
The Federal Security Service, Interior Ministry and other law-enforcement structures should continue their systematic work on eliminating terrorist networks.
One of the most important elements in the war on terror, and against organised crime and drug trafficking is reliable protection of the state border. In this respect, I count on the professionalism of Border Service officers, on their precise interaction with the respective departments and with government bodies in the regions.
Kea areas of work for interior agencies remain opposing crime and protecting the rights and interests of citizens from criminal activity.
An entire range of difficult tasks lies before the recently created Federal Service for the Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. One of its priorities is ensuring the precise and effective coordination of the efforts by ministries and departments in the war on drugs.
The Federal Migration Service is still being formed. I expect that the updated legislation will help you to regulate migration processes and ensure a controllable flow of necessary labour resources into the country.
In 2003, the Federal Guard Service of the Russian Federation also increased its capabilities, which will make it possible to solve the tasks before it more effectively.
The operation of the Russian Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief has been assessed highly not just in Russia, but also abroad. I expect that the actions of rescuers to respond to the consequences of natural disasters and catastrophes will continue to be competent and timely.
I would also like to note that in the current conditions, the efforts of the Federal Agency of Special Construction are also seriously in demand, as are those of military railway workers.
And finally, the development of the global situation, local conflicts and the activities of international terrorists also dictate increased demands to the work of the Foreign Intelligence Service.
In conclusion, I would like to congratulate you once more on your appointments to new positions and on the awards of military ranks.
And once more, I would like to remind you that this event is not just an acknowledgement of your individual merits, but also confirmation of the special state significance of service in the army, in law-enforcement bodies, and other services, ministries and departments which protect the interests of the state.
I am certain that you will continue to successfully fulfil the tasks set before you. You will serve Russia, showing the necessary professionalism, decisiveness, and if necessary, personal courage.
I wish you success, and all the best.