Participants in the meeting looked at the tasks and development potential of the Russian defence industry companies.
In the 21st century, any country possessing natural resources, even resources as vast as those of Russia, would be doomed to dependence, unless it had a mature economy and strong armed forces, Mr Putin said in his speech.
Mr Putin urged to be more prudent when dealing with bankruptcy of state defence industry enterprises, underlining that such enterprises should be protected from business entities of no scruples anxious to take control over them.
The Acting Russian President also mentioned that a clear-cut fixed assets re-equipment plan for the Russian defence industry was needed, and one of the top issues should be the unification of arms and weapons used by various military forces, total inventory of defence companies and elaboration of a clear mechanism of state support for such enterprises.
The Government and the leading banks would take joint steps to invest in the defence companies and assist them in entering the new markets, Mr Putin stated.
After the meeting, Mr Putin gave a news conference. Commenting on the investment agreement signed the same day in Nizhny Novgorod between the Russian Economy Ministry and the FIAT concern on the establishment of the Nizhegorod Motors joint venture, he said that the agreement would be for the benefit of both the Italian car maker and the Gorky Automobile Plant. Execution of the agreement in Nizhny Novgorod would help create new jobs and secure additional tax revenues that would go into the state budget, Mr Putin said.
Answering the question on his trip to the Chechen Republic the day before, the Russian Prime Minister explained his decision to take a fighter plane to Grozny. In his words, it was a quicker, cheaper and safer way to travel. Mr Putin also confirmed that his bodyguards did not accompany him to Chechnya, saying that the Republic possessed adequate armed forces and Federal Security Service facilities.