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Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

Putin urges increased defence spending in Russia

Moscow, 17 October: Addressing a conference at the Ministry of Defence today, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he had instructed the government to look at proposals for an increase in funding for the defence ministry.

On Monday [15 October] the government submitted proposals on this to the State Duma, the head of state said.

Putin proposed that current urgent problems relating to ensuring the country's military security be discussed. He stressed that active work is under way on the country's budget and in this connection he proposed they dwell on the problems of funding the state's military organization.

"We are keeping these issues constantly in view," the president went on to say, stressing the need "once again to set our priorities in this area".

He explained that this approach is needed because "the world situation is changing very rapidly". The head of state and supreme commander-in-chief said that standing up collectively to terrorism has "considerable military resource implications".

The president went on to say that all these factors have an influence on the progress of military reform and the formation of the state's military resources.

Putin proposed they dwell on discussion of the next set of problems: the content of and blueprints for programme documents on defence and their relevance to the present world situation. Here, too, Putin said, it is not just about money. It is important to set the priorities for military construction.

The president suggested they consider "in a calm and workmanlike manner" the problems of funding national defence. Noting that funding for the defence ministry is now coming in "more regularly, and this is to the government's credit", Putin said that the Russian Federation is now developing arms and equipment unlike anything else in the world". "Raising the army to a new technological level takes money, and we are obliged to find it," the head of state said.

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