MOSCOW, December 7 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that he has not reversed his stance as concerns former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov despite media reports.
“This is my position: I believe Serdyukov worked rather efficiently,” the prime minister said in a television interview. “Long-awaited and very complex transformations in the army began” as he was defense minister, the prime minister stressed.
“The status of servicemen changed” when he was in office, he added. “Nobody has the right to deny that the salaries of 2006 cannot be compared with those of 2012 and are comparable to the situation in European countries,” Medvedev stressed.
“Then comes the housing problem. This thorny painful problem was never looked into. Many people lived in garrisons all life long, moving from one to another,” he said. “Now we have a program and it must be brought to an end,” Medvedev stressed.
One must not forget that a new image of the Russian armed forces has been created, Medvedev marked. “The processes have been kicked off, Serdyukov launched a reform and launched it strongly,” he said. “And it demands courage and will, while if this lacks everything begins to slip through the fingers. But this does not mean that there were no mistakes,” he continued.
“No matter what reporters say, nobody has brought charges against him, and he is not participant in legal proceedings. An investigation is underway. In the end, the court decides who is guilty, and investigation is part of the process, and there is also the defense,” Medvedev said.
“Everything must be analyzed scrupulously and presented in court like in the case with other persons involved in proceedings,” he stressed. “Until this is done, Serdyukov as well as other persons remain innocent,” Medvedev said.