Defense minister misses deadline

The Defense minister has failed to meet a self-imposed 10-day deadline for fulfilling all outstanding state weapons orders.

Anatoly Serdyukov was under pressure to prove himself amid accusations that he was putting Russian arms makers in financial danger.

The accusation against Serdyukov came from one of the country’s top missile engineers, who said a delay in orders will land the country’s arms producers in deep financial trouble. He also claimed that “no contracts have been signed for strategic nuclear forces.”

Serdyukov described the claims as an attempt “to compel state contractors to accept military products at inflated prices.”

He said that some contracts for 2011 have not been signed because large holding companies “sharply increased the price of their products.” The minister added that the institute where the dissatisfied engineers work is among those companies.

Anatoly Serdyukov had assured the president that he had no concerns about the disruption of state defense contracts and promised to fulfil them on time. All outstanding orders, he added, would be signed within the following 10 days.

The president stressed the Defense Ministry “should correctly use the considerable funds provided to it for the formation of state defense contracts.” He also demanded that the minister “work as effectively and as fast as possible.”

“The management of the Defense Ministry are the people of the past,” Ruslan Pukhov, from the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, told RT. “There must be a special cast of people to deal with such issues like there is a special court of auditors in Britain to work within the defense industry. We don’t have such people. We have to repair the chassis of the car while it is moving. It’s difficult.”

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