RF president congratulates personnel, veterans on Navy Day.

31/7 Tass 95

BALTIYSK (Kaliningrad region), July 31 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has congratulated on Navy Day the personnel and veterans.

“The Navy is an integral and reliable component of our national defence. I am sure that your willingness to ensure security of the country will allow Russia to continue its consistent movement forward and develop successfully,” Medvedev said at Navy Day celebrations in Baltiysk.

“The naval service has always required the most serious training, endurance, deep and diverse knowledge. The current generation of navy men of Baltiysk continues the cause of their predecessors. Today, our Armed Forces are acquiring a new look and it is the Baltic fleet that is the main training base for Russia’s naval forces, as modern equipment and weapons are actively being mastered here,” he said.

Medvedev stressed that the Baltic Fleet has for nearly 250 years been fulfilling strategic tasks also beyond the stationing place.

“You’re fulfilling a mission to combat piracy off the Somali coast, regularly participate in international exercises and maneuvers. The presence of the Russian naval forces in the world ocean has strengthened the authority of our country as a great maritime power, and confirmed the high military capability of its Navy,” Medvedev said.

“And the fact that the main base of the Baltic Fleet is located in the westernmost city of the country yet again underscores its role in ensuring global stability,” the Russian president believes.

He stressed that Navy Day is especially celebrated on the Baltic coast, because many glorious pages of history of the Russian Navy are connected with the Baltic Fleet sailors.

“Their courage has once allowed Peter the Great to attain success at the beginning of the Great Northern War, after which was issued a special medal – “The Impossible Made Possible,” Medvedev said.

“During World War I Baltic Fleet sailors did not allow the enemy to break into the Gulf of Finland, acting decisively not only at sea but also on land. And the battles on the approaches to Leningrad and its heroic defense during World War II, have a very special place in the fleet’s history. The courage and resourcefulness of our sailors were, in essence, legendary,” the president said.

The Baltic Fleet’s creation date is May 18, 1703, when Russian sailors under the command of Peter the Great won the first victory over the Swedes in a sea battle at the mouth of the Neva River. All the battle participants were decorated with specially-made medals.

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