State weapons orders to be signed in 10 days – defense minister

The defense minister has reported back to President Medvedev over media allegations that he was behind on weapons orders for the state.

Anatoly Serdyukov assured the president that he had no concerns about the disruption of state defense contracts and promised to fulfill them on time. All outstanding orders, he added, will be signed within the next 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 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 the companies.

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