Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has given the Defense Ministry one last chance to fulfil all outstanding state weapons orders for 2012. The new deadline, set on Tuesday, expires in seven days.
The Defense Ministry is trying to finalize a number of important contracts with aviation and ship-building firms.
Russian defense chief Anatoly Serdyukov says the delay is due to the ministry’s unwillingness to pay over-inflated prices.
Suppliers in turn accuse officials of not taking into account the high rate of inflation. Moreover, they say that even if the deals are agreed in September, the time left till the end of 2011 will not be enough to produce any sophisticated military hardware.
Last week, President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Anatoly Sukhorukov as new deputy defense minister to oversee all weapons orders.