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VILYUCHINSK, Kamchatka Territory, October 22 (Itar-Tass) —— About seven billion roubles will be allocated from the state budget in the next two years for re-equipment of the Russian troops on the Southern Kuriles, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov told reporters on Monday after a meeting of the State Duma Committee on Defence.
The president gave directions two years ago to revise the structure of the force deployed there and its armament, the minister said. The weapons are already partially replaced. Funds are earmarked for the development for the next year. The total sum is about seven billion roubles, Serdyukov said.
The funds that will be received in the next two years will be used for the force – an artillery and machine-gun division – to be completely re-equipped, the minister added.
The 18th machine-gun and artillery division is the only constant-readiness force of the type in the army. The troops are deployed on the islands of Iturup and Kunashir. They have tanks, armoured carriers, guns, artillery combat vehicles, air defence and antitank defence systems and machine guns.