President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good day dear fellow officers, fellow generals and admirals!
I want to welcome you to the Kremlin and congratulate you on the successful conclusion of your studies at our military academies, universities and institutes! This is a significant milestone in your life, an important step in your formation as a professional and a citizen. And, of course, it represents the successful accomplishment of the goals you have set yourselves. You have chosen the difficult and extraordinarily important job of defending your homeland.
There are graduates here today who have completed their studies with brilliant results. Of course this is evidence of not only your own dedication but also a tribute to the hard work of those who taught you. I would like to sincerely thank the professors and teachers of these institutions of higher learning for training this new generation of officers. It is a generation characterised by the quality of its education, its independence and its desire to achieve a modern level of training.
Now these qualities are in demand in all the spheres of our lives, including military affairs. And these qualities are now crucially important in a rapidly changing world full of the intellectual challenges posed by technological breakthroughs that are already changing Russian society. Obviously the country's young officer corps should be ready to engage in work that must keep pace with the times, equipped with the knowledge necessary for everyday service to the Fatherland. As recent graduates of military schools, you will determine the very future of the Russian army and navy, participate actively in their modernisation, master modern military technology, introduce the most advanced approaches to military construction, and thus constantly improve the military effectiveness of the Armed Forces by increasing its capacity to face new challenges and threats. And we have a lot of those.
The problems faced by the world community today in the sphere of international security are very different from those of forty or even twenty years ago. And the old system of bloc politics will not solve them. In this regard, we have consistently advocated the establishment of a collective security system. The new, legally binding treaty on European security was proposed in this spirit. We must all search for ways to prevent new lines of division from forming and try to build a common security space. Such a treaty would in no way infringe on the authority of international law or the crucial functions of the United Nations and UN Security Council. Its principles are fully in accord with Russia’s Military Doctrine, and our Armed Forces should not only be modern but also able to effectively confront new global threats, including international terrorism.
I want to stress that the state has devoted and will continue to devote its attention to preparing officers, equipping the army with the most advanced weapons and military equipment and enhancing the efficiency of the Armed Forces’ entire system of governance. In the coming years, you'll need new knowledge and skills, but you must understand that becoming qualified for a profession does not end with obtaining a diploma. As Soviet Marshal Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov once said: ”The science of victory is a difficult science, but he who studies it, who yearns to be victorious, who fights for a cause in which he believes, will always win”.
Dear graduates, you will soon go off to start your service. You have an important and difficult job ahead of you, but I am confident that you are absolutely ready to perform it: ready to take important decisions and to obey orders, ready to immerse yourselves in the military life, and last but not least ready to be demanding and compassionate leaders. Indeed, despite the youthfulness of many of you, you are about to become role models for our soldiers.
Finally, the attitude of Russian society to the Armed Forces depends in large measure on you. It is changing for the better. And many young people aspire today to become military professionals they believe that it is their civic duty to serve in the army and the navy. Our joint challenge is to accelerate these positive trends.
I would emphasise that your professionalism and irreproachable reputation will have a profound influence on realizing your ideals, on the success of those plans that you will put into life, on what you do on your Fatherland’s behalf, according to the dictates of time.
Once again I congratulate you on completing your higher education. I am confident that you will be worthy of this great service. I wish you and your families good health, happiness and prosperity.
Let me propose a toast: ”To the officer corps of our country, to the Armed Forces of Russia and to our great Motherland!”