President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, comrade officers,
I welcome you to this graduation reception at the Kremlin, and I congratulate you of course on successfully completing your studies. This is a big milestone in your professional growth. It is also important for the success of the transformations currently taking place in Russia’s armed forces.
Guaranteeing our national security interests requires us to build modern and effective armed forces able to respond to today’s threats. We need to develop armed forces of a new kind. This will be the task that falls to you, the new generation of competent and educated officers and commanders at all levels. You, today’s military academy graduates, will be called upon to play an active part in modernising the armed forces, introducing new approaches to building up our defence capability and new troop command methods. You will master the latest types of arms and teach your subordinates how to use new equipment.
Analysis of the global military and political situation shows that serious potential for conflict still remains in a number of regions. International terrorism also remains a big threat, as was demonstrated by the recent events in the North Caucasus, where terrorist attacks took place. These threats require the appropriate responses.
We need to change approaches to international security in general by establishing lasting and reliable guarantees for international and regional security. In this respect, you know the Russian Federation’s initiative to draft a new treaty on European security, and you also know our latest initiatives on strategic arms reductions.
Together with its partners in the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organisation], Russia supports collective efforts to neutralise threats that arise, and is doing everything necessary to establish a collective rapid reaction force of the highest standard. The decisions approved during the recent CSTO summit in Moscow marked an important step in this direction. As I have said already, this force must be mobile, effective, compact, equipped with the very latest military technology, and able, of course, to counter all potential threats.
But the key condition for our country’s defence capability is of course to strengthen our own armed forces. We are trying to do more now to raise our troops’ combat preparedness, have more permanently combat-ready units, optimize structure and number, and equip them with latest arms and equipment. At the same time, we will continue carrying out our priority social objectives and providing a better social safety net for everyone serving in the armed forces. Military education is also an area that must receive priority attention.
You will soon leave for your new posts. Your responsibilities will demand of you serious effort, personal discipline, the ability to take responsible decisions, raise morale and ensure discipline among the troops, be demanding of your subordinates, but at the same time show them care and consideration. I am sure that you are ready for these responsibilities and will perform your duties in worthy fashion.
Once more, I congratulate you on your graduation. I wish you success in your service, good health and prosperity.