Speech at Gala Night Celebrating National Security Services Day 2009-12-17 18:32:27 The Kremlin, Moscow President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues, security services veterans, I am happy for this opportunity to personally congratulate you on your upcoming professional holiday and to wish you health, luck, and success. The Russian security services have been and remain a key element in guaranteeing our nation’s security and sovereignty. You are in charge of preventing domestic and external threats and addressing a range of issues that all fall under the term ‘national interests’. Your service requires not only profound knowledge, but a great deal of stamina and personal courage as well. These are precisely the qualities that have always distinguished security services officers. Today, I would like to specially say a few words of thanks to the veterans of the security services. Next year, we will be celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Great Victory. Security agencies made their important contribution to the defeat of Nazism as their officers were among the first ones to resist the enemy strikes at the very borders of the country, they uncovered Nazis’ plots, and staged most sophisticated operations behind enemy lines. Their fearlessness and selflessness serve as an example for today’s generation of security services officers. Comrades, colleagues, The Government has recently taken some steps to strengthen the security forces: they now have better financial and technical support and greater operational and analytical capabilities. However, the modern world is constantly changing. There is greater competition in it for economic markets, political influence, and information dominance. The stakes in this struggle are quite high, and the competition gets tougher with every year. The global challenges that stand before Russia today mean that we are facing some rather difficult problems; they require precise, coordinated, effective work by all the security services. Certainly, the priorities include counteraction against terrorism, combating nationalistic and religious antagonisms and extremism, and improving facilities at state borders. It is imperative for you to provide careful analysis and oversee safety at all sorts of public events. All of these are priority tasks for the security services which celebrate their professional holiday today. I would like to particularly note that the challenges of modernising our economy, which I outlined in my Presidential Address [to the Federal Assembly], mean greater demands for ensuring economic security of our nation, protecting strategic or critical technologies, and guaranteeing steady development of our economy and its air, space, and other science-intensive industries. Furthermore, given the dynamic processes currently taking place in the world, every security agency must accurately anticipate and essentially predict the likely consequences of the unwrapping events, always thinking several steps ahead. Friends, In their operation, the Russian security services must protect our national interests, the rights and freedoms of our people. They must be strong, and therefore they must be modern, effective, well-trained, and well-equipped. Active officers must be paid decent salaries that are adequate compensation for the complexity of their duties while the government must resolve their pressing social problems. We will take care of all of this. I would like to once again sincerely congratulate you on your professional holiday. I wish you, your families, and your relatives health and prosperity. Thank you.