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Speech at ceremony of presenting state decorations

October 28, 2010, Solnechnogorsk County, Moscow Region

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear comrades, it is always a pleasure to personally present state decorations for valuable achievements and good service. Notwithstanding difficult conditions of your service in the North Caucasus, you demonstrated your best professional skills and personal courage. Of course, you also helped protect our country and achieve the goals our nation has set for itself, as well as contributed to the protection of our citizens and ensuring Russia's safety.

Our Armed Forces are currently undergoing changes, and despite the fact that change is difficult, it is nevertheless necessary, because we understand the following: if we cannot make our Armed Forces modern and effective, more combat capable and better armed, if officers' wages do not provide the necessary incentives for proper service, then we will never have reliable defence capacities. Therefore, all of our current effort is aimed at designing modern and effective Armed Forces. There are both problems and good developments in this regard; I oversee the process personally as Commander-in-Chief and shall continue to do so.

I am confident that you will be able to continue your service, your service to our country. On behalf of the Russian state, on behalf of our Motherland, I would like to thank you for everything that you've done.

At the same time, I would like to welcome our new comrades who have received new appointments, namely Commander of the Western Military District Colonel General Arkady Bakhin, and Commander of the Eastern Military District Admiral Konstantin Sidenko.

I wish you success in your new posts. These new positions were created in accordance with the decisions I took as Commander-in-Chief concerning the new command structures in the Armed Forces.

I wish you success in managing the Armed Forces and ensuring the adequate military training of our troops. I expect that you will draw extensively on the expertise which you gained during military service in other positions.

October 28, 2010, Solnechnogorsk County, Moscow Region