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Putin confirms last year's state defense orders 97% fulfilled

Vladimir Putin has called to update approaches to army revamping

SOCHI, May 16. /TASS/. Russia’s state defense order was 97% fulfilled last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

Putin made this statement at a meeting on the results of state defense order fulfillment in 2016 and the efficiency of budget spending control in this sphere.

"In 2016, as you know and we discussed these figures, state defense order was 97% fulfilled," Putin said.

Russia’s air force operation in Syria and the tasks of border strengthening in the Arctic require adjustments to the approaches to army revamping, Putin added.  "I would like to note that the combat experience received during the operation in Syria and the necessity to strengthen our Arctic territories and western and southwestern borders require adjustments to the approaches to army revamping," he said.

He reminded that from Tuesday he starts the ninth series of meetings with top defense officials and defense-sector executives to discuss the current state of and prospects for further development of the Russian Armed Forces and the defense sector in general. "We have been holding such meetings regularly since 2013 to assess interim results of the large-scale army and navy reboot program, to identify problems in its implementation and, naturally, to outline measures to accomplish our tasks in due time," Putin said, adding that currently work is being done to implement the state arms program for 2011-2020.

According to the statistics cited by the president, more than 5,600 modern weapon systems and more than 3,000 items of repaired and upgraded military hardware. He said that successful implementation of the government defense order in 2016 had made it possible to ensure comprehensive development of weapons systems, consolidate combat potential of Russian strategic forces.

Nevertheless, he admitted that a number of problems have not yet been resolved and pledged they would be addressed at such meetings. "I would like to remind that it is planned to bring the level of state-of-the-art weapons and hardware in the Russian army to 62%," he stressed, adding that the defense ministry and defense-sector enterprises should spare no effort to achieve this goal.