MOSCOW, January 14 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s army needs to get rid of foot cloths, RF Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.
“It’s 2013, and we are still talking about foot cloths,” the minister said at the first teleconference at the Situation Centre of the RF Armed Forces with the leadership of the Defence Ministry, commanders of the army services and branches, commanders of military districts and fleets.
The minister said in his opening remarks that such meetings under his chairmanship will be held on a regular basis, once a month. The weekly meetings will be held by the Chief of the General Staff or the Deputy Minister of Defence, as well as by the commanders of military districts. The minister ordered to determine the agenda of the next weekly meetings.
Shoigu proposed to consider at such conferences the most important issues, in particular, the adoption of new weapons systems, the situation in the spheres of military training, health, life support, repair and maintenance of new military equipment. He said that the issues of organising combat training and life support of military towns should also be considered.
The defence minister noted that last year, there was a difficult situation with heat supply to military towns where 150 boiler houses of the Defence Ministry had fuel reserves enough just for less than a day. This year, there has been no major problem with the heating supply, however, in his words, “efforts should be continued in this sphere in order to maintain the appropriate situation.”
Shoigu also drew attention to the situation with the cold-related diseases, to the pneumonia lethal cases. “We have approved a budget for next year. First and foremost it is necessary to provide the servicemen with military uniforms and accessories. I believe it is important to allocate additional funds to provide all those who need it – in Siberia, the North and the Far East – with clothing allowance,” the minister said in this connection.
He stressed that “in 2013, all measures will be taken to provide with apartments the military servicemen who are in the queue for housing.”
Touching upon the activity of the Public Council under the RF Defence Ministry, Shoigu said that in the near future it will be reshuffled. “I expect from this body support in the tasks that it will be fulfilling,” the minister said.
The RF defence minister said Monday’s meeting participants would discuss behind closed doors the operational situation, the heating season, the organisation of combat training in the winter period, as well as the situation in the armed forces and military districts.