President Vladimir Putin: Dear comrades!
It is with all my heart that I congratulate you and your colleagues on Security Service Workers’ Day.
Your profession is directly connected with protecting the national interests and sovereignty of the Russian state. And those who are ready to execute the most difficult and dangerous tasks at the first order work in the security services.
It is precisely this type of employee – dedicated and principled ones – that always were the strength of the Russian security services. And today our very warmest words of gratitude are for the veterans of the security agencies, the Federal Security Service, the Border Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service. For people whose past experience and performance of duty remain at the foundations of today’s security agencies.
This profession employs those who love our Motherland and who are selflessly devoted to their people. And it is not simply qualifications but also a high degree of civic consciousness and courage that act as guidelines for important and professional activities in this field.
Today these qualities will help you accomplish a whole range of serious and important tasks. The main task involves protecting the legitimate interests of our citizens, their inalienable laws and freedoms. We must not forget that the real strength of a democratic state is measured in terms of its ability to provide its citizens with the conditions for a stable and worthy life.
Fighting against terrorism and extremism remains a priority task. In just the last two years the activities of over two hundred terrorist and extremist cells have seen their activities defeated. Odious bandit leaders have been neutralized. I congratulate you on these results.
Improving the situation in the Northern Caucasus was helped by the National Antiterrorist Committee call for the voluntary surrender of insurgents and the amnesty declared by the State Duma [national parliament] of the Russian Federation. As a result, more than 450 participants in illegal groups laid down their weapons.
The antiterrorist and antiextremist policies of the FSB and other security services should be even more active. It is important to protect citizens, especially youth, from those who try to involve them in criminal groups, to infect them with the viruses of violence, intolerance and xenophobia.
It is impossible to ensure the country’s security without ensuring the reliable protection of Russia’s border. Implementing the programme entitled State Border has already allowed us to secure a number of the most difficult sections of the border. Along with this the FSB Border Service still has a lot to do to ensure that security along the borders is effective and that state of the art infrastructure is used there. Much has already been done. Really excellent work! And there are considerable funds available for this. This represents an important part of your activities. I would ask that you continue to pay the most steadfast attention to this issue in the future.
The struggle against the activities of foreign intelligence services remains as topical as before. Today these organisations are increasingly interested in secret economic information, including on the Russian economy’s resources and on the scientific and technological potential of the energy, communications and aerospace sectors – namely sectors where our country has a considerable competitive advantage. It is necessary to help protect this information and I hope that all special services will work actively to do so.
Let me point out the well-executed and harmonious actions of Federal Security Service employees during this summer’s G8 summit and other important events. I expect that you will do everything necessary to ensure that the work you take on in the future can also be considered excellent.
Today the Foreign Intelligence Service requires special attention. In the first instance, I am referring to predicting and revealing external threats to Russian sovereignty and interior stability in due time. Especially since a significant portion of state decisions are made based on your information, and important foreign policies that ensure our state’s interests are put into place.
I would like to thank the FSB employees and other special services for their conscientious attitude to their duties.
I would like to once again congratulate you on the holiday and wish you a very pleasant evening. In addition to congratulating you, I would very much like to congratulate all of your family members.
Thank you very much.