President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Comrade officers and generals!
I welcome you and congratulate you on your appointment to senior positions, and the conferment of your titles. I well understand how important and responsible an event this is for you, and naturally, I expect you to fulfill your new duties successfully.
The main task before you as senior officers is to ensure our country's national security. It depends directly on the level of your personal competence, the quality of command and control, the battle worthiness of troops, their ability to work with the modern military equipment, and the discipline and morale of all who serve under you. You in your turn must be concerned with resolving their social and daily problems, protecting their health and safety while they fulfil their duty.
Such high demands require great care in selecting and appointing members of the senior officer class in all defence and law enforcement agencies. We need to prepare in advance, drawing out the best specialists, giving them the possibility for professional development. Not that long ago I signed a decree on the composition of federal staff pools for senior ranks in a number of defence and law enforcement ministries and agencies.
The dynamics of the military-political situation, the lessons learned from the peace enforcement operation in Georgia showed the world clearly that current approaches to ensuring international security are, in many ways, outdated. We need to: establish new stable guarantees of global and regional security, bolster international law, achieve mutual respect for the interests of states and peoples, and to work towards collective efforts to neutralise threats that arise.
Our priority is to broaden cooperation and partnership with our nearest neighbours, above all with the CSTO countries [Collective Security Treaty Organisation]. A CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force will soon be formed. This new unit – CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force is not directed against “third countries”, rather it was created to counter potential threats in Central Asia.
It is vital that we increase the effectiveness and battle worthiness of the Russian Armed Forces, optimising its organisational staff structure, and system of troop bases, transferring all military sections to a state of permanent combat readiness, recruiting junior commanders on a contract basis, modernising our Army and Navy, and equipping them with the newest weapons.
Changes must affect all aspects of military provision: starting with soldiers’ equipment and small arms, to complex military systems. And in spite of the complicated economic conditions which are linked to the global crisis, in spite of the difficulties which our country is currently facing, we must nonetheless do all we can to make sure that financing for defence procurement needs, social guarantees for service personnel and social guarantees for their families, are kept up practically in full. We understand how important it is to ensure our country's defence capability and security.
We have here today representatives of our country's law enforcement agencies. You must focus your efforts on social and economic safety measures, on ensuring the rule of law and the defence of citizens’ rights, and on the fight against corruption. This is something that was discussed recently at an expanded board at the Ministry of the Internal Affairs. I note the particular importance of the fight against extremism which is counting on inciting social, national and regional hatred. And the most careful attention must be paid to prevention measures, especially among teenagers.
Counteracting terrorism is one of the Federal Security Service's priorities. We expect the National Anti-Terror Committee to duly oversee the coordination of security agencies and pre-emptive actions, including in the North Caucasus.
Counter-intelligence and the defence of Russian borders must be made more effective. Modern technical means of defending our country's state borders should be adopted in the nearest future. The main focus of the Foreign Intelligence Service will remain the timely exposure of threats to Russia's national security.
The Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief will continue to develop its rapid reaction system, which is called upon to ensure peace and security to thousands of people in our country, and in other countries where the Ministry conducts humanitarian programmes.
The Russian Special Construction Agency has already done much to implement the 15 federal target programmes for the construction of military infrastructure sites and installation of state borders.
The work of the Federal Service for the Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances has, as a whole, been productive. And I count on the fight against drug trafficking becoming even more effective. The anti-drugs committees on regional levels, and federal levels have an important role to play in this.
The Federal Penitentiary Service has an important social function to fulfill. We await effective measures for the correction of those sentenced, and further humanisation of our penal system.
The Federal Guard Service carries out their duties well. I expect them to coordinate their action with other law enforcement authorities.
I would like once again to congratulate you on your new appointments, with the conferral of your new titles. You have been given great authority, and the security of our citizens depends on your professionalism, as does the security of our state borders, and stability and order in our country.
I am sure you will fulfill the tasks before you with honour. I wish you success for the future, and good results.
I would like to congratulate you all heartily once more on the conferral of your new military (special) titles, on your appointment to senior duties. I would like to wish you success in your service, and would also like to say that, without any doubt, our government will give the defence and law enforcement agencies their careful attention.
In spite of the difficulties that many countries are facing today, in spite of the difficulties that we, as a country, also face, we understand that without properly functioning defence and law enforcement agencies, which ensure the state's military preparedness and security, the very existence of the state itself could be threatened. And we will do everything within our power to ensure that in this complex period, all the decisions taken in recent years — and we have achieved a lot in this period of time in comparison with the previous one – are carried out well. And these decisions could take our defence and law enforcement agencies and units, which protect our country's safety, to a radically new level of development. And these steps need to be taken in such a way so as to avoid damaging the general development of the state, overall economic growth, while ensuring sufficient growth potential.
I think that today this is the most important task, just as the task of providing material support to all people in uniform, who unselfishly give themselves to their country, and who fulfill their duties to a high standard in whatever location their service requires. It is this which is the most important task, the most important priority for our country, and the one priority which can never be connected to economic competition, or to any international events.
The events of August last year showed that threats to our security are not virtual. They are not the fruit of some analysts’ over-active imagination, they are fully real threats, which could result in full scale military action. And what various defence and law enforcement structures did last year indicated that we are ready, as a whole, to repel such threats. But that does not mean that we should relax, or that we should point to the financial crisis and pull back from existing programmes. Quite the reverse, we should gear up and work just as we have worked in previous years.
I congratulate you once more, and wish you success in your service. I wish happiness to your families. All the best to you.