The meeting participants included Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina, Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Minister Sergei Shoigu, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, heads of the Federal Security Service, Federal Guard Service and Foreign Intelligence Service, and officials of the Presidential Executive Office.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues, I would like to say a few words at the beginning of our meeting. We will look into issues concerning national defence over the upcoming years and discuss plans for building up the Armed Forces and other military units through 2015, as well as making long-term plans through 2020.
The main purpose of today’s meeting is to make sure we all act on the basis of common, coordinated criteria to optimise military staffing levels and provide housing for servicemen, as well as discussing several other positions that ultimately determine the social well-being in the Armed Forces and other power agencies.
I am not going to anticipate particular results right now. I would like for us to really give our attention to the highly important topic of legislative regulation on housing provisions for military personnel. There are different options and approaches to the issue, but naturally, all of them are along the lines of the classic approaches we formulated some time ago – nobody is changing anything. Nevertheless, there are various suggestions on optimising our efforts on this matter. Let me just remind you that in the last two years, a great deal of money has been spent on buying housing for military personnel: 257 billion rubles. The Defence Ministry received two thirds of it, almost 200 billion rubles [over $7 billion], and has already acquired about 100 thousand apartments. By the end of 2013, the ministry plans to acquire 77 thousand more apartments for a monetary total of 145 billion rubles.
I expect that when all of these decisions are implemented, we will be able to eliminate the queue for housing among servicemen so that we can overcome this, one of our most challenging problems, once and for all. Certainly, we must ensure that in the future programmes will be in place to provide housing to the military on the regular basis, whereas this campaign will conclude our nonrecurring efforts.
I believe this will be a major achievement and we must not spare any effort or resources. We must complete this task. I know that the Defence Ministry as well as other units and law enforcement agencies have submitted their suggestions regarding the topic on today’s agenda. I would like to discuss these with all of you today.