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Putin asks Belousov to "open" Defense Ministry as much as possible

The Russian president set another task for the new defense minister to address - to continue handling economic matters

MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the newly-appointed defense minister, Andrey Belousov to "open" the ministry as much as possible.

"It is necessary to open the Defense Ministry as much as possible," Putin told Belousov at a meeting on the development of the defense-industrial complex.

"While keeping in mind its specifics, nevertheless, please open the Defense Ministry to the maximum extent possible in order to capitalize on all the best and up-to-date, on everything that can and should be used for success on the battlefield by our guys, our fighters, our heroes of the special military operation," Putin said.

He recalled that such work was previously carried out by former Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

"It is important for me, it is important for all of us that you continue the work that was started by Sergey Shoigu," Putin told Belousov.

He set another task for the new defense minister to address - to continue handling economic matters.

"I hope that in the capacity of defense minister Belousov will keep in mind what he has been doing all his life - the economy. This is very important," Putin said.

The president, who took office for a new term on May 7, signed a decree on May 12 appointing Shoigu, defense minister since 2012, as secretary of the Security Council. Belousov at various times served as President Putin's aide for economic affairs, Minister of Economic Development, Director of the Department of Economics and Finance at the government’s staff and Director-General of the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Forecasting. In 1981-2006 Belousov worked at the Russian Academy of Sciences (until 1991 - the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union). On May 14, Putin signed a decree appointing Belousov as defense minister.