PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good evening dear comrades!

Let me congratulate you on this holiday, the 85th anniversary of the foreign intelligence service (FIS). I am proud of that fact that part of my life was spent with the service, with the remarkable people who work there and with excellent professionals. The staff of the foreign intelligence service invariably and in good conscience worked towards one main goal, that is strengthening our Motherland’s security and power. Today the Russian foreign intelligence service has strong traditions of nationalism and patriotism. Like its predecessor, the Soviet foreign intelligence service, the FIS is one of the most efficient and effective intelligence services in the world. Both friends and adversaries respect it.

Let me emphasize that Russia’s leaders highly value the work of the FIS. I know that it is possible to rely on your information to make the most important political decisions and that you will execute the orders you are given accurately and on time. The content of materials received from the FIS has significantly improved over the last few years. They now contain more substantial analysis, forecasts and, what is very important, specific proposals on how to resolve existing problems. The foreign intelligence service works more accurately, productively and in a more proactive way. Including in counterterrorism. This must continue.

Life creates new challenges to which the special services should react quickly and adequately; this implies flexibility, a great deal of mobility and a higher quality response. You should be able to foresee potential threats to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country.

Issues related to the struggle against terrorism, maintaining control over weapons, and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction demand close attention. The risk that weapons of mass destruction or some of their component parts might fall into the hands of extremist groups represents a special danger.

In conclusion I would like once again to congratulate all veterans and employees of the Russian foreign intelligence service on the 85 th anniversary of its creation and on the Day of the Employees of the Security Services. I sincerely wish you future successes and luck in your noble work for the blessing of our Motherland. I wish health, happiness and well-being for your families and friends.

All the best in the new year! Thank you.