CHEBARKUL /Chelyabinsk region/, September 27 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the country's defense spending will always be high and that the officials who object to it should find another job.
Medvedev said so at a meeting with the commanders of the army units involved in the Tsentr (Center) 2011 exercise.
"We cannot do without defense spending as befits the Russian Federation, not a banana republic, but the Russian Federation, a very large country, a permanent UN Security Council member which possesses nuclear weapons.
"So we'll always have a high expenditure to maintain defense capability and security, no matter how sad it is for the budget," the president said.
He reminded that sometimes, the army reform is criticized not only by political opponents to the government, but also by "the government officials who believe the money is not spent on the right things and not in the necessary amounts."
The state must monitor the spending of funds, but it cannot make do without defense expenditure.
In his opinion, "it is our mission with respect to our citizens and our neighbors. If we were weak or if our armed forces had broken up as various forces both in and outside the country wished, our country would not have existed now."
"So in any case, as the commander-in-chief, my colleagues and I will insist that the spending on defense, new armaments, allowances for servicemen, their decent life and their apartments be top priority in the activity of the state
"Let those who disagree with it work elsewhere. It is imperative," Medvedev said.
It is the disagreement on budget expenses, including defense spending, that became one of the reasons behind the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.
On Monday, the president, in the course of a session of the commission on modernization, asked Kudrin to offer his explanations regarding his disagreement with the head of state's opinion.
"If you disagree with the president's course, which the government is pursuing, you only have one way out - to resign," the president said. He later signed a decree relieving Kudrin of his duties.