Thursday, January 31, 2013

Russia: Russia's new Defense Minister eyes security threats

Anton Kulikov 
Russian Defense Minister, General Sergei Shoigu, presented the Defense Plan of Russia to the Supreme Commander Vladimir Putin. According to the Minister of Defense, in the preparation of the document a complete analysis of Russia's future in the coming decades was carried out.

Introducing the plan for the defense to the head of state, Sergei Shoigu said that representatives of 49 ministries and departments participated in its preparation. "All the details and fragments have been worked out. The plan was approved by everyone. But the most important thing is that the plan takes into account the future, further development, including the implementation of the state program of armaments", the Minister said at a meeting with the president. The Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov also participated in the meeting.

Sergei Shoigu emphasized that the document took into account all possible risks. "In our opinion, a fairly complete analysis of what we can expect in the coming decades has been conducted. This is why we believe that it is ready for approval. I would certainly like to add that at the same time it is not a final, inflexible document. Considering various events around the country, different threats, it can definitely be adjusted and will be adjusted, of course," said the Minister of Defense.

Most importantly, he said, "for the first time we were able to take into account all programs related to the defense of Russia, including the weapons program, mobilization program and the programs of all the ministries and departments, in fact, all over the country ".

"Vladimir Vladimirovich, we are asking you to approve this Defense Plan," said Sergei Shoigu, referring to the President. The commander in chief responded: "Let's look at the details."

In fact, it was Vladimir Putin who in October of last year proposed to supplement the federal law "On Defense" with an article providing for the development of the plan for the defense of the Russian Federation.

This is the first document of this kind in the modern history of Russia. Its development was conducted by the General Staff in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense and 49 other ministries and departments.

Sergei Shoigu often mentions security threats to Russia. Last Saturday, speaking at a general meeting of the Academy of Military Science, the Minister brought up increasing military threats to Russia. In his words, "methods of force continue to play an important role in resolving economic and political differences between the countries." "Hot spots" are located close to our borders," said the head of the Defense Ministry.

"In this regard, we must be ready to respond to any challenges and threats. This requires that we have armed forces with the best structure, an efficient management system, modern weaponry and professional staff," he said.

Among the priority tasks Sergei Shoigu named enhancing the effectiveness of command and control, equipping the army with modern weapons and equipment, staffing military units, and developing mobilization base and mobile deployment of the armed forces.

As for the current issues, at the meeting with the President he discussed repair and maintenance of military equipment.

First, the Defense Ministry proposed to sign "from cradle to grave" contracts, i.e., from manufacturing of the equipment to its disposal. Second, it is planned to transfer capital and medium repair to the manufacturers. According to Sergei Shoigu, the negotiations on this matter with a number of companies are close to completion. The Minister said that the new system would allow more efficient use of funds.