MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry rejected the Finance Ministry’s proposal on 10% military personnel cuts as unacceptable and sent its reasoning to the country’s Security Council, according to the ministry’s statement posted on the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper on Tuesday.
"The Defense Ministry of Russia thoroughly analyzed the substance of the proposals prepared by Russia’s Finance Ministry on cutting the size of the Armed Forces and changing some provisions of the system of social guarantees for servicemen. It sent its reasoning on the unacceptable nature of these proposals and the absence of their support from the leadership of the Defense Ministry to the Security Council of the Russian Federation," the statement says.
As of today, the numerical strength and the structure of the Armed Forces have been defined by the supreme commander-in-chief, taking into account "the entire range of tasks for effectively ensuring the state’s security," the ministry said.
In the ministry’s opinion, the Russian Armed Forces have a stable manning system balanced by the number of positions filled by military servicemen and civilian personnel.
"The Finance Ministry’s proposals on cutting the positions will yield a zero economic effect as the funds for paying money allowance to servicemen are allocated for the real numbers," the statement says.
The experience of transferring the positions of servicemen in logistics structures to civil service in 2007-2012 proved to be ineffective and prompted numerous problems affecting the combat potential of the Russian Armed Forces, the Defense Ministry said.
"In the course of combat operations, drills and maneuvers conducted by the armed forces, the need for servicemen’s maintenance is clearly confirmed," it said.
The legal norms of the retirement provision are sealed in the existing legislation and serve as the basis for measures of social support for servicemen and members of their families, the Defense Ministry said.
"The Finance Ministry’s proposal to establish the maximum size of money allowance taken into account in calculating military retirement pay at no more than 80% speaks about a lack of understanding on the procedure of defining military pensions," the statement says.
The size of military retirement pay depends on the length of service and ranges from 50% of money allowance for 20 years of military service to 85% for serving 32 and more years, the Defense Ministry said.
"Considering the five-year increase in the maximum length of military service implemented by the Defense Ministry for various categories of servicemen, the Defense Ministry of Russia jointly with other federal bodies of executive and state power earlier considered in detail the possible increase in the minimum length of service entitling for retirement from 20 to 25 years on condition of providing compensatory norms and mechanisms to increase the general level of social protection for servicemen and military retirees," the statement says.
However, the Finance Ministry of Russia did not support this initiative, the Defense Ministry stressed.
"Therefore, discussing the issue of increasing the length of service for servicemen’s retirement without compensation measures is senseless," it pointed out.
As Russia’s Defense Ministry pointed out, "the proposal to increase by five years the period for the emergence of grounds for including officers, soldiers and sergeants in the accumulative mortgage system of housing provision has not been worked out thoroughly and is not supported."
The Defense Ministry’s calculations show that this proposal, if implemented, will only push up long-term expenditures on providing servicemen with housing and paying them compensations, the statement says.
"The implementation of the proposals by the Finance Ministry of Russia won’t yield any economic effect but will considerably deteriorate the financial position and the social status of servicemen," the statement stresses.
Military service is a special type of civil service related to the state’s defense and security whose nature suggests that servicemen accomplish tasks associated with a threat to their life and health and with other specific conditions of their career, the Defense Ministry stressed.
"The leadership of the Defense Ministry of Russia has rejected the measures proposed by the Finance Ministry. At the same time, the Defense Ministry will continue comprehensive work aimed at expanding effective social protection measures for servicemen and members of their families," the statement says.
Finance Ministry’s proposals
The daily Izvestia earlier reported that the Finance Ministry had come up with a proposal to consider cutting the size of the country’s military personnel by 10%
The Finance Ministry proposed downsizing the Armed Forces by cutting free vacancies and transferring medics, lecturers, HR specialists, financiers, lawyers and logistics personnel to civil service. The other proposals envisage raising the retirement age in the Army, increasing the length of military service, including for obtaining military mortgage loans, and saving funds on military rations.