Speech during a visit to Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier 2014-07-27 17:00:00 Severomorsk President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon comrades, I congratulate you on Navy Day! Officers, warrant officers and sailors, I once again congratulate this ship’s entire crew and everyone in Russia’s Navy on this holiday – Navy Day. This holiday is an important date for everyone who stands guard over Russia’s sea borders, serves on ships and submarines, in naval aviation and in the marines, ensures the combat readiness of our Navy’s ships and troops, and works in the shipbuilding industry. Of course this is also a special date for everyone who served in the Navy in the past, and is a date dear to the hearts of our veterans, who fought heroically at sea in the Great Patriotic War. By tradition, this has become a holiday for the entire country. The Navy is Russia’s pride, strength and asset. Our sailors and officers have always been an example of strict discipline, courage and valour, and a model of selfless and complete devotion to our country. These foundations remain just as firmly in place today. Patriotism and the Russian Navy go hand in hand. Last year alone, our naval forces carried out 43 expeditions, including to protect Russian shipping and combat piracy. Our Navy’s strength and glory will grow even greater and we will increase its defence capability, combat readiness and mobility, strengthen its resource and equipment base and modernise the coastal infrastructure. New ships will be built. Last year, work on 26 naval vessels of different types was completed and 7 vessels were commissioned, including the strategic nuclear submarines Yury Dolgoruky and Alexander Nevsky. The cruise missile nuclear submarine Severodvinsk will soon begin service too. It has already gone through all of the preliminary trials and we see it ready to join the fleet today. Construction of another 60 vessels — combat and auxiliary vessels — is underway, and work has begun on 11 new ships. One of our priorities of course is to strengthen the Black Sea Fleet’s capability. We will modernise its ships and build a modern military and social infrastructure. Friends, once more, I congratulate you on this holiday. I congratulate all of you who serve in the Navy, responsibly and conscientiously carrying out your professional duties, effectively carrying out military missions, providing reliable defence of our country’s security and territorial integrity, protecting our national interests, and preserving the traditions of honest service, fraternal spirit, mutual aid, and love for your work. I wish you and your families happiness, health and all the very best. Thank you for your service.