Medvedev demands clarity on arms procurement

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday ordered Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to submit in three days a report on the implementation of state defense orders for 2011.

Leading missile designer Yury Solomonov said in an interview with Russia’s Kommersant daily that the 2011 state defense order was in jeopardy partly because the Defense Ministry had delayed the signing of new defense contracts, especially on procurement of strategic nuclear armaments.

“Find out what is going on. If the reports about the disruption of the state defense order are true, then those responsible for this should be punished regardless of their ranks and posts,” Medvedev told Serdyukov in a video conference call.

“I expect you to report back in three days,” the president said.

All defense contracts for 2011 should have been signed by April 15. Medvedev criticized on May 10 the defense industry for the delay and extended the deadline until the end of May.

Medvedev also instructed the government to take adequate measures to improve the situation with the state defense order and punish the officials directly responsible for the disruption of the program.

Since Medvedev’s orders, a number of military and defense industry officials have been fired and reprimanded for their poor performance in the implementation of the program.

Russia’s ambitious 2011-2020 arms procurement program stipulates the upgrade of up to 11% of military equipment annually and will allow the country to increase the share of modern weaponry in the Armed Forces to 70% by 2020.

Leave a comment