SAVING ON REFORMS

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REVISION OF THE BUDGET MAY BECOME A PREAMBLE TO CORRECTION OF THE MILITARY REFORMS PLANS

Upper echelons of the Defense Ministry met with lawmakers.


“Main events of the military reforms will be over 3-4 years from now,” Chief of the General Staff Nikolai Makarov said after a meeting with the heads of Duma committees. According to Security Committee Assistant Chairman Gennadi Gudkov, the Defense Ministry explained the essence of the military reforms to lawmakers at long last even though it should have been done right at the onset of the reforms. The parliamentarians were told that no further delays with the reforms were possible. The nature of threats and challenges had changed since disintegration of the Soviet Union, and so had the nature of warfare itself. The army itself was but a pale shade of its former self, Gudkov said.

Security Committee Assistant Chairman Mikhail Babich said the Defense Ministry was aware of the effect the crisis was having on the military reforms. It also knew that a revision of the state budget could be a preamble to correction of the plans of the reforms. Plans to RIF and reorganize some military units might be cancelled, along with the plans to develop infrastructure and military compounds. Babich said that the state defense order and construction of tenements for servicemen were to be spared the planned cuts in expenditures.

According to the existing three-year budget, combined costs of the Defense Ministry amount to 1.376 trillion rubles in 2009, 1.379 in 2010, and 1.476 in 2011. Over 1.5 trillion rubles (including nearly 500 billion rubles in 2009 alone) are earmarked for procurement, research, and repairs.

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