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Putin to give assessment to Russian military reform

December 10, 2013, 10:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's president will hand state awards to several servicemen at the meeting

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metsel

MOSCOW, December 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will give an assessment to the country’s military reform progress and activity of the armed forces in 2013 at an enlarged meeting of the Defense Ministry board on Tuesday. He will also determine the guidelines for their further development, according to Kremlin press service.

The commanders-in-chief of the branches and commanders of corps of the armed forces, heads of the central military administrative bodies, command staff of the military districts, fleets, forces and large units of the Russian Armed Forces will gather at the General Staff Academy building in Moscow.

Representatives of the presidential administration, government, Federal Assembly, a number of other federal bodies of state authority, veteran and non-governmental organizations will also attend the meeting.

At the meeting, Vladimir Putin will hand state awards to a group of military servicemen.

Shortly before the board meeting, the president held in Sochi a series of meetings on the state defense order execution and development of the Armed Forces. The head of state noted that the ministry’s budget was growing steadily. “You know that the government allocates huge funds for this purpose, they are really huge,” Putin said. “Let me remind you that in 2003, the total defense budget was 600 billion rubles, and this year after the budget adjustments, expenditures for the Defense Ministry will reach 2 trillion 300 billion rubles.” The president stressed that this was a long-term defense allocation.

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, responding to a question about the defense budget for 2013, had cited the figure of 2.1 trillion rubles. The prime minister also said that by 2020 the country’s armaments would be fully upgraded. “This is very important. Especially for Russia, which is a nuclear power,” said the prime minister.

Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Putin’s close attention to defense issues testified to the need to update the Russian Armed Forces, and not to some increased risks. Peskov recalled that when Putin had been prime minister, a complicated process of rearmament of the Russian army and navy was launched, despite the crisis of 2008-2009.

“The idea is that any country, especially such as Russia, is responsible for and plays a major role in ensuring mutual deterrence, as well as strategic security. It should support its own armed forces and related industry sectors at the modern level,” Peskov stressed.

Sooner or later there comes a time when weapons should be renewed, he said. “So, Putin continues to tackle this issue. These 23 trillion rubles (allocated for the modernization of the army and navy) ... testify not to preparations for something. They just testify to the intention to bring all the characteristics of our army in line with not only the present-day requirements, but also, as Putin said, “to project this for tomorrow,” said the president’s press secretary.

Putin also promised that in six months he would gather all the commanders of the armed service branches, the chief designers of the leading defense companies and officials responsible for the execution of the state defense order, to check the fulfillment of the decisions taken at the six meetings in Sochi on the development of the country’s armed forces.

“Exactly in six months we will get together and see what has been done, what has not been done and for what reasons,” the president said, adding: “Keep in mind that all on that we have agreed will be formalized in the relevant documents, which will also specify the names of those responsible and the deadlines.

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