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Shoigu to give new impulse to army reform — Federation Council speaker

November 06, 2012, 17:33 UTC+3

Matviyenko said she had known Shoigu for many years as "a statesman, responsible, competent and aimed at a concrete result"

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MOSCOW, November 6 (Itar-Tass) — Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko believes the appointment of Sergei Shoigu the defence minister would give a new impulse to the on-going army reform.

"I believe that appointing Sergei Shoigu to the post of defence minister is a logical and balanced decision by the president," Matviyenko told reporters on Tuesday.

Shoigu is military; he's headed the Emergency Situations Ministry for more than two decades, and knows the armed forces well," the FC speaker said adding that in her opinion, "the military and the society will have a largely positive view of this appointment."

Matviyenko said she had known Shoigu for many years as "a statesman, responsible, competent and aimed at a concrete result."

"I think he will be able to keep whatever positive has been done within the scope of the army reform over these years, and, at the same time, give a new impulse to continuing the reform and modernizing the army," Matviyenko underscored.

Commenting on Shoigu's work at the post of Moscow region governor, the speaker noted that although the tenure was "not long, it was productive." He has formed an active professional team, made a number of important decisions towards the restoration of order, and determined the prospects for economic and social development of the region."

"In any case, the tasks have been set for the region; concrete work has begun, and the acting governor will have it to lean upon it in implementing the rich potential the Moscow region possesses," Matviyenko said.

Chairman of the Federation Council committee for defence and security Viktor Ozerov said the new defence chief would pursue the policy to create highly skilled and socially protected army while avoiding the errors made by his predecessor.

The reshuffle does not imply the scaling down of the army reform. "It is the supreme commander-in-chief, the Russian president, who set the tasks regarding the image of the armed forces and the reform of armaments and I believe what was put in the plans to build the armed forces will continue. The reference points for allowances and housing for servicemen, as well as the state armaments program, will be realized," Ozerov said.

In his opinion, Shoigu should continue to fulfil the tasks set by the president, i.e. build a mobile, well-equipped, well-trained and socially protected army.

"He should avoid the errors made by Serdyukov. I don't think he needs much instruction on it," Ozerov said.

He said one of the key errors by the former defence minister was that his department "took up the function of the state property management agency. "It's an overwhelming task," the politician said.

While commenting on the former minister's oversights, the parliamentarian said several words of praise. "Many welcome his resignation, but I wouldn't say it to the back of the outgoing minister. He did much for the armed forces, and if we talk about allowances and housing and the state armaments program, all of them are to his credit."

"Regrettably, Serdyukov has not been accepted by the greater part of army personnel, which made a psychological imprint on his relationship; and somewhere deep inside he was not accepted as defence minister. I believe Sergei Kuzhugetovich /Shoigu/ will be treated otherwise," Ozerov said.


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