MOSCOW, February 24 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will go on a working trip to the closed-access nuclear city Sarov (the former Arzamas-16) on Friday.
The prime minister will have a round-table meeting devoted to the build-up of Russian defence capability, combat readiness of the Russian Armed Forces, the development of the defence and industrial sector, will study the work of the All-Russian Scientific-Research Institute of Experimental Physics, which is incorporated in the Rosatom state-run nuclear corporation and will visit the Sarov Monastery.
Putin already visited Sarov in July 2003, when he occupied the post of the Russian president.
“Leading Russian experts will participate in a round-table meeting to discuss the development of a long-term state strategy in national security and defence, potential risks, the keeping of the strategic balance and the progress of the military reform,” a source in the Russian governmental press service told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
The press service recalled that Russia has been implementing large-scale programs to reequip the Armed Forces, modernize the Russian defence and industrial sector since 2008. Meanwhile, Russia gives priority to the most advanced types of weapons and military hardware, primarily those produced in Russia. In 2008-2011 the Russian Armed Forces put into service 39 intercontinental ballistic missiles, two submarines, two surface warships and five combatant crafts, 214 warplanes, 160 helicopters, more than 2,300 units of armoured vehicles and other warfare. This process made it possible to reequip more than 250 military units. By 2016 the Russian Armed Forces will be provided with modern and promising types of weapons and military hardware by 30% and by 70-100% by 2020. For these purposes Russia intends to allocate unprecedented funds of about 23 trillion roubles for next ten years.
The venue for the round table meeting on the military issues was selected not accidentally. Arzamas-16, which is a symbol of the Russian nuclear power, was the first Soviet military nuclear centre, where first domestic nuclear and thermonuclear bombs were made. During the Great Patriotic War, when the Soviet government provided for “the solution to the nuclear problem”, prominent physicists Igor Kurchatov, Yuly Khariton, Anatoly Alexandrov worked at the laboratory of measuring devices number two (the current Kurchatov Institute). In 1946 the design bureau number 11 was created at the laboratory number two, which was the most secret enterprise for the development of the Soviet nuclear bomb.