SOCHI, November 22. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for scrutinizing the shortfalls exposed in the course of the Zapad-2017 exercise and taking extra measures for enhancing mobilization readiness. He set this task in his opening remarks at another in a series of meetings with senior Defense Ministry officials, arms manufacturers and regional officials on Wednesday.
"The Zapad-2017 exercise identified certain shortcomings. They must be studied closely and extra measures worked out to enhance mobilization readiness," Putin said.
He called for looking into the potential of defense industries to promptly build up production.
"The economy’s ability to promptly increase the output of defense products and services in wartime is one of the key conditions for ensuring the military security of the state. All strategic and large enterprises regardless of the forms of business and ownership must be prepared for this," Putin said. He recalled that earlier, in 2015-2016, this theme was discussed already and corresponding instructions issued to upgrade the manufacturing facilities and create material and technical reserves. This work proceeds under the auspices of a joint board of the military-industrial commission and the Defense Ministry. Putin requested its brief analysis and a report on what had been done to eliminate the shortcomings exposed in the previous years.
The joint Russian-Belarussian exercise Zapad-2017 was conducted on September 14-20 at six proving grounds and two areas in Belarus and three proving grounds in Russia with nearly 13,000 troops, 70 planes and helicopters, 680 vehicles, including about 250 tanks, up to 200 artillery pieces, multiple rocket launchers and mortars taking part. Observers from seven countries, including NATO members, monitored the drills.