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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu, I am sure you are aware of the situation that has unfortunately developed recently at the Defence Ministry. In order to create the necessary conditions for an objective investigation into all the issues that have arisen in this regard, I have decided to release Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov from his post.
Having said that, a great deal has been achieved in recent years for the development of the Armed Forces and to improve social benefits for servicemen, such as increased pay, housing and other matters that had not been addressed for years.
I say this because the future leader of this vitally important ministry – one of the most important agencies in the country – must be able to continue all the positive initiatives that have been carried out in recent years and guarantee the dynamic development of the nation’s Armed Forces, as well as to ensure the fulfilment of the state order and our ambitious plans to rearm the Army and Navy.
I firmly believe that you would successfully fulfil this role and would like to offer you the post of the Defence Minister of the Russian Federation.
Sergei Shoigu: Thank you, Mr President. This is an unexpected proposal but I will do everything in my power to tackle the challenges facing the Armed Forces. Indeed, a great deal has been achieved already. I will draw on the support of military personnel, the people who have been nurtured by the army, have done a lot for it and continue to serve in the Armed Forces today.
Thank you again. I will do my best to justify your confidence.
Vladimir Putin: Certainly, the Armed Forces have very strong personnel and a huge intellectual potential, and it is essential to exploit this potential to the full.
You were only recently appointed Governor of the Moscow Region and have already laid the groundwork to address a number of issues facing the region, and there are many challenges in every sphere, including financial, economic and social. You have put together an efficient team. I hope that the future governor, who will be elected by the region’s residents, although this will happen only a year from now, will be able to continue these efforts. In the near future, I will make the decision on who will be appointed acting governor of the Moscow Region.
I wish you every success in your new post. You are an experienced leader, who is well versed in military issues. You were absolutely right to highlight the importance of relying on the intellectual and human resource potential of the Armed Forces. I wish you every success.
Sergei Shoigu: Thank you.