Taking part in the meeting were State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Naryshkin, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, and Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Mikhail Fradkov.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Today, one of the issues on our agenda is reforming the military education system. This topic is extremely important for the Defence Ministry and for a large number of people who have made the decision to serve in the Armed Forces. We must finalize certain military education parameters both for the present and for the future.
Until recently, this system was very cumbersome, having been passed on to us from Soviet times. Although the size of our Armed Forces and the challenges before us have changed, head count optimisation has had only a partial effect on higher military education, so a whole set of organisational decisions was made. Let me remind you that compared to 1991, the need for officer training has fallen seven-fold, while the number of military academies and their affiliates has only been decreased 3.5-fold, or even a slightly less.
As a result, graduates from university-level military academies are on the brink of cutbacks just as they complete their studies. This is a threat to their career advancement. We will need to discuss this in order to correct officer training at military academies and civilian universities affiliated with subsequent service in the Armed Forces. At the same time, this must go hand-in-hand with organisational decisions and social decisions for people working in the military education system, along the lines of our common approaches to military establishment reform.
I would like to hear Defence Minister’s [Anatoly Serdyukov’s] report on the progress of military education system reform and possible suggestions to improve the situation within this system. What’s most important is increasing the quality of training for the graduates, the officers who are studying in the universities. They must be modern, well-trained, physical, and capable of solving the very difficult problems facing Russia’s Armed Forces today.