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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Comrade officers, comrade generals,
Russia’s Federal Security Service is receiving an important military symbol today – the FSB banner — and the service’s director is receiving a special honorary symbol – the personal standard.
This tradition began many years ago and has historic roots and symbolic significance. After all, your mission is one of the most complex and responsible in our country. From the day it was formed, our security service has always defended our homeland and stood guard over our national interests. It was so during the Great Patriotic War, in the post-war years, and it is so now too, when you are fighting terrorism, organised crime, and drugs trafficking, and keeping watch over our country’s borders.
Many of the details of your organisation and work are not the subject of public discussion, and this is normal, but sooner or later people will always learn about the heroes, who have carried out missions for their homeland, and these heroes are many in number.
You have the operations and technological capability you need today to neutralise internal and external threats, and you are responsible for overall law enforcement coordination and the special services’ counterterrorism work. The FSB has always played the biggest part in these key areas and will continue to do so.
The fight against extremism must also be systemic in nature. Russia established itself as a strong country with the largest territory in the world and a powerful economy only thanks to the solid unity of its multiethnic people. We therefore must take an absolutely firm and clear stand towards any manifestations of ethnic intolerance and any attempts to instigate unrest and incite interethnic and religious strife. Identifying the organisers of these kinds of provocations is also one of the Federal Security Service’s tasks.
Counterintelligence activity remains a relevant task too. In the world this kind of activity is going on constantly of course, and so our strategic sites and scientific developments – everything that counts as classified information – must be reliably protected from those who do not have the right to know these secrets. Our society and our people also expect to see results from you in looking after our country’s economic interests and fighting corruption.
Comrades, today’s ceremony will become a special page in the Federal Security Service’s history, considering that it is not an event we see often.
I am sure that the ceremonial presentation of this banner and standard will mark another step in strengthening the glorious traditions of our security service and raising your professionalism and your service’s prestige at home and abroad.
I wish you all successful work, new achievements, and good health.
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I congratulate you all once more. This is without question a milestone event of great symbolic importance. But we need not only material encouragement in our lives of course. We must preserve in our lives the perhaps high-flown but absolutely essential concepts for any person that are love for one’s motherland, a sense of duty, and being part of history. This standard presented just now to the FSB director, and the banner that the FSB has just received, symbolise this being part of history and symbolise too our national unity and the sense of professional duty of all working in the FSB.
Once more, I congratulate you on receiving this banner and standard.