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#24 - JRL 2006-252 - JRL Home
November 8, 2006
[Putin] Speech at the New Headquarters of the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff
November 8, 2006
Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, Moscow

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, comrades,

It is my sincere pleasure to welcome and congratulate all the personnel and veterans of the Russian General Staff Chief Intelligence Directorate (GRU) on Military Intelligence Officer Day, traditionally marked on November 5.

You are celebrating your professional holiday in this modern complex, the newly completed headquarters of the Chief Intelligence Directorate. This is a truly unique building that matches perfectly the specific nature and tasks of your work. We planned to hold this meeting here today a long time ago, in 2001, when I visited the GRU headquarters for the first time as head of state and drew the attention of the defence minister and the head of the GRU to the fact that content and form should be in harmony with each other. Given that the GRU is the eyes and ears of the Russian Armed Forces, and to a considerable degree of the Russian state as a whole, in the vital area of ensuring national security, it is clear that its personnel should have not simply decent working conditions but should work in very good conditions indeed.

Five years ago, it seemed that we had far more pressing tasks, even in the military sphere, than building new administrative buildings, and that it would be hard to find the money for such large-scale projects, but I believe that we made the right decision. Today we can say with pride and confidence that not only does the General Staff Chief Intelligence Directorate now have one of the best complexes at its disposal, but that, without any exaggeration, it has the most modern and best-equipped complex of any countrys intelligence services. No other country in the world today has as modern a complex as this. This new headquarters provides all the necessary conditions for effective work. The main thing that I would like to wish you is that within these new walls you preserve and build on the best professional traditions of your agency, traditions we have had a chance to learn about just now in the GRU museum. Above all, these are the traditions of loyalty to ones duty, patriotism, and selfless service for our people and state.

Throughout its history, these qualities have always distinguished the GRUs personnel. Military intelligence has proven its effectiveness in times of the most difficult ordeals. You have built up vast experience of work in practically all corners of the world. Your arsenal includes agents, radio-technical and satellite intelligence methods, and the serious capability of analytical and scientific-research centres.

I am well acquainted with the results of the GRUs work. Your battle units, including the special forces, which are a part of your organisation, work with precision and practically no failures in counter-terrorist operations. The timely and accurate information received from the GRU has been at the base of important state decisions and helped us make timely responses to national security threats. I would like to thank you and your colleagues most sincerely for this valiant work that, for most people, goes unnoticed, but is so important for our country.

The state will continue to pay heightened attention to strengthening the service and providing decent social guarantees for its personnel. I am sure that the words, the GRU has been given charge of the mission, will remain a synonym for quality and reliable work. At the same time, it is clear that the world situation and the challenges facing Russia require the GRU to constantly improve its work, build up its operational capability and preventive reaction potential. No less important is work to forecast political and military developments and carry out thorough analysis of trends in technological and economic competition.

I stress that these demands hold true for all the countrys special services. We need to be fully aware that the potential for conflict in the world is on the increase. The international community finds itself a situation in which factors of force are dominating in international relations, a situation where relations are being undermined by unilateral action action that is not legitimate in international law undertaken by a number of countries, and by attempts by some countries to unceremoniously impose their positions without taking into account at all the legitimate interests of other partners. And you know what means states make use of when carrying out such action: the economy, political and diplomatic means, and a monopoly on the world media.

In my Address [to the Federal Assembly], I spoke of the stagnation in disarmament, a stagnation that has not come about through any fault of ours. Furthermore, the threat of the emergence of destabilising weapons such as low-charge nuclear weapons and strategic missiles equipped with non-nuclear warheads is on the rise. A number of countries seek to have their hands free in order to place weapons, including nuclear weapons, in space.

The threat of a global conflict has been reduced to a minimum today, and this is indeed the case. The system of international relations ensures an unprecedented level of mutual controls and confidence in the military sphere. At the same time, however, we see that not only are the leading countries not giving up arsenals that are well above what is needed for their actual defence, but, on the contrary, are constantly modernising them, including offensive weapons. These processes all call for the GRUs close attention.

Going further, wide-scale activity by international terrorist groups remains a serious threat today. We have received repeated information from the intelligence services, including military intelligence, on support for underground terrorist groups in Russia from abroad.

I stress that these channels of support must be identified and decisive action must be taken to cut them off and liquidate them.

The problem of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction also remains very serious. The blows dealt to the non-proliferation control regime are a real threat for the entire world, and for Russia, of course, for our people, all the more so as the problem regions are in direct proximity to our borders.

I note that the GRU has begun paying close attention to non-proliferation issues, and rightly so. I ask you to continue to keep a close eye on the whole range of issues concerning nuclear, chemical, biological weapons and missile technology. And, of course, we must also ensure that components of weapons of mass destruction do not fall into the hands of terrorist organisations.

Dear comrades, in conclusion I would like to say once again that the Chief Intelligence Directorate plays what is without any exaggeration a unique role in our countrys national security system. It is a powerful and effective instrument for protecting our national interests and I believe that Russia will always be able to count on you.

I wish you success and congratulate you once again on this holiday.

Thank you for your attention.