Vladimir Putin said continuation of military reform is one of priorities in Russia

The President of Russia and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the country, Vladimir Putin, said that the continuation of the military reform and the transition to a professional army were among the priorities for the Russian leadership.

"We shall do this work stage by stage, taking into consideration the interests of Russia's national security," he said on Tuesday, opening a traditional reception in the Kremlin in honour of the graduates of the military academies and institutes.

"Our world is far from being safe; therefore, Russia must have effective armed forces, an army and a fleet respected in their own country and with which other countries would reckon. Only in this case can we counteract new threats to security," said Vladimir Putin.

One of such threats, pointed out the President, is international terrorism. He said that the fight against it calls for up-to-date approaches and decisions. "In this respect the armed forces have their special tasks. In order to accomplish them the country will also need your advanced knowledge, experience, organisation and will." Vladimir Putin told the graduates.

The President underscored that the state would do everything possible to create conditions for the further worthy service of the officers.

"These problems are constantly under my personal control," said Vladimir Putin.

Russian officers, said the President, have always been known for their sense of duty, courage, devotion to their country and responsibility for its security.

Vladimir Putin toasted "the officers' corps of the country, the Russian Army and Navy, our great Russia." Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov also spoke at the reception.

The minister said that selflessness, courage and heroism had always been inherent in the Russian army. He spoke of the necessity to build up the role of the officers' corps in conditions of the reformation of the Russian armed forces. The Defence Minister said that the Russian Army and Fleet "safely defend the interests and the sovereignty of the country, its people and the hopes of the Russians for peace and a happy future."

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