Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made a speech at a Kremlin gala devoted to the Security Services Employee Day
19 december 2008
Good evening, esteemed colleagues, friends,
I'm glad to have this opportunity to congratulate you on your professional holiday, and to wish you success in your uneasy but very responsible and useful work.
As is our tradition, today we are honouring security service employees, those who guard the interests of the Fatherland. You perform your professional duty with honour and dignity, protect the state's territorial integrity, and the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens, and secure the most important conditions for the country and society's development.
Allow me to express my most sincere words of gratitude to the veterans. You have repeatedly proved your allegiance to your duty and mission, and to the officer honour code. You have consolidated the best traditions of our security services, and because of you, they have gained indisputable authority, both at home and abroad.
In the last few years, we've done much to consolidate our national security.
The technical and operational potentialities of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Foreign Intelligence Service, and the Federal Bodyguard Service (FSO) have been seriously expanded. This instills us with confidence that any attempts to weaken or destabilise Russia or damage its interests or the interests of its citizens will be nipped in the bud.
I'd like to note that counterintelligence units are without question demonstrating their high efficiency.
The authentic and timely information of the Foreign Intelligence Service is always crucial in major military and political decision-making.
The struggle against terrorism remains a key direction in the work of security services. The recent tragic events in India and some other countries show what danger is emanating from international terrorist groups. You know better than anyone else that, regrettably, we also have many similar problems, and a lot has to be done because the threat is still great. We should concentrate on preventive actions. We should prevent the very possibility of acts of terror in Russia, and eliminate foreign sources of funding for the criminal mob. The FSB Frontier Guards bear special responsibility in this respect. It is necessary to continue comprehensive efforts to consolidate the state border.
We should curb any attempts to sow religious and ethnic strife in this country. These actions should be viewed as a direct threat to the territorial integrity and unity of our state.
We count on your active efforts in other key directions, such as countering corruption, organised crime, and drug aggression against our citizens. Protection of economic security is also very important.
As always, we are confident in the effective performance of the FSO, which is securing the stable operation of the entire government management system.
In conclusion, I'd like to thank all of you for your conscientious work, strict performance of your duties, personal courage, and when need be, heroism, as the whole country knows.
Allow me to convey my most heartfelt wishes to your families.
Happy holidays to you! I wish you all the best.