VORONEZH, March 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that in some cases it might be better to build new defence enterprises instead of modernizing obsolete ones.
The subject of modernizing the country’s defence sector was raised at today’s meeting between the prime minister and governor of the Voronezh region Alexei Gordeyev.
According to Gordeyev, there are a number of defence enterprises in Voronezh that need modernization. He said he had discussed the problem with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. In his words, it was suggested that these enterprises should be rebuilt in a special industrial zone, while their territories inside the city might serve as a pledge. This money might be used to “modernize these enterprises in an absolutely new format.”
Putin reminded that the federal budget allocates three trillion roubles to fund modernization of defence-related enterprises. These funds must be “used wisely,” the prime minister noted.
“So, maybe you are right. Projects that are started from scratch in some cases are more efficient than modernization of existing facilities,” Putin said. At the same time he stressed that it is necessary to see to it that personnel employed by such enterprises were provided with jobs. “In the long run, these steps must aim at improving labour conditions and growth in wages,” he said.
Putin and Gordeyev also discussed the situation in the industrial sector in the Voronezh region. According to Gordeyev, the region showed considerable economic growth after a nuclear power unit was commissioned here in 2011. He thanked the head of government for a bonus of 270 million roubles paid to his region as a most dynamically developing one in 2011. Gordeyev also said that unemployment in the region was going down. Thus, unemployment rate in 2011 was 1.6 percent, against 1.8 percent in the pre-recession year 2008. “These figures are better than Russian average,” he boasted.