OREANDA-NEWS. June 29, 2010. Financing for long-term strategic programmes in adjustment of money allowances to the military, Interior Ministry reform and housing provision for officers were the subjects of discussion.

Dmitry Medvedev emphasised that supplying the army and navy with modern weaponry, combat and special equipment, is an absolute priority. The President announced that on June 29 his Budget Address will be supplied to the Prime Minister and speakers of the Federal Assembly (parliament) houses.

Participants in the meeting included Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Naryshkin, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu, Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Mikhail Fradkov, and Presidential Executive Office staff.

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PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Colleagues, for several months now, we have been exploring a range of key issues: the development of our military, including financing for the State Arms Programme through 2020, and staffing sergeant and soldier positions throughout the military with contract servicemen only. We have launched reform of the Ministry of the Interior. Various decisions were made to improve housing of and money allowanced to the military officers and qualifying personnel.

Our reform efforts are strategic and far reaching and require essential budgetary resources. The Budget Address to the Federal Assembly will be presented tomorrow, therefore today we should make final decisions on various issues.

To reform the overall system of money allowances to the military in 2012, significant extra budget is being solicited as compared to the earlier plans, as this is an obvious priority. We understand that good salaries to the officer corps directly and generally influence social well-being of the military and everyone involved with the armed forces, thus immediately affecting the combat capacities of our army. We will discuss today several options for addressing this subject.

Housing for the military is also important and hence certain special programmes to this end have been launched and turned out quite effective in my view, something not to be regretted, as over recent years, thousands of military officers have received keys to their new apartments. The goal is to ultimately resolve the challenges we set, those of ensuring regular housing or temporary accommodation are available to all servicemen. Respective efforts shall continue, respective targets set few years ago shall remain the same and provision of proper housing to all military shall be guaranteed. This will be another item on our agenda today.

An absolute priority is certainly the programmes of supplying our army and navy with advanced weaponry, combat and special equipment. As I mentioned, sizeable funds will be allocated for these purposes.

It is clear that scientific research, technical solutions and military technologies never stop advancing, suffice it to look at the way that is handled in other countries. Our nation should therefore invest in development and acquisition of most sophisticated arms too, there may be no debate about it, whereas such investments are a way to additionally boost our economy and should thus be pursued. Nevertheless, there should be no misjudgement of our financial potential, of what may and may not be possibly done.

The Finance Minister [Alexei Kudrin] and I have just returned from the G20 summit. The general situation in the world is still complicated, although the overall global economy has shown signs of growth with most national economies growing as well. We will make our decisions based on these considerations.