President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Comrade officers, dear colleagues,
Our ceremony today is being held in the St George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace. This is a special room, the hall of the military glory of our country, our Fatherland, and everything here bears witness to the military exploits of our ancestors, heroes whose names are inscribed in the annals of the Russian military, and the defenders of our Fatherland. Their example inspires us today — today’s officers who protect our national interests and are genuine, not ostentatious, patriots look to the example of their forefathers.
Next year the Foreign Intelligence Service will celebrate its 90th anniversary. For all these years, it has played a special role in ensuring our security, defending our foreign policy interests and priorities. Both our friends and competitors recognise its brilliant performance and its achievements.
Today the Service’s Director Mr Fradkov will be presented a major military relic: the ensign of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, as well as a symbol of the personal responsibility of its commander, namely the Director’s standard.
I am sure that you, like your predecessors, will be proud to carry this ensign and be worthy of the Service’s glorious traditions. I will not try to brainwash you — you are educated and intelligent — nor will I talk platitudes, although everyone knows that the situation in the world is never static or absolutely calm, and today it is very difficult. We are witnessing the construction of a new global configuration of power, the emergence of new centres of power, and the activation of political forces which were previously perhaps not so visible in the global arena. This creates a new alignment which is a challenge for our nation and in light of which we need to make intelligent decisions.
Competition in the world is increasing. Incidentally, the crisis that is now affecting the entire planet, the global economy, is a consequence of increased competition for political, economic, and even for information influence in the world, as well as the result of errors of individual countries and misguided macroeconomic policy. All this requires a proactive response to these threats and the rapid detection of breeding grounds for such problems. And of course this makes new demands on the quality of the operational and analytic work of the Foreign Intelligence Service, because one of the Service’s key tasks is analyzing information and providing informational support for the most complex processes that occur in Russia and throughout the world.
Comrades, the words ‘Fatherland, valour and honour’ are inscribed on your banner. They are the motto for all our country’s Foreign Intelligence Service employees and serve as a reminder of the heroic annals of the past and of course of the sacred duty that each of us owes our Motherland, our great Russia. I am convinced that the key to the success of the Foreign Intelligence Service will continue to be its extraordinary professionalism, competence, and confidence in the rightness of the course it has chosen.
Once again I congratulate you on this important symbolic event in the history of the Foreign Intelligence Service and of course on the upcoming professional holiday, Security Services Day. I wish you and your families wonderful success in the coming year, good health, and I wish our whole country peace and prosperity.