The President discussed national security with senior officials of the Armed Forces. Taking part in the meeting were commanders-in-chief of all services and arms, as well as Deputy Prime Ministers Alexei Kudrin and Ilya Klebanov.
Speaking about the technical equipment of the army, the President indicated that Russia’s newest specimens of arms had no match in the world. He said their speedy launch into production required funding, and the Finance Ministry was instructed to find ways of increasing the funding for the Defence Ministry already this year. He noted that the money would also provide for increased basic allowances for servicemen.
The President said he considered it necessary to make the required changes to the draft 2002 budget in view of a real rise in the military pay for servicemen. The draft, he said, would be discussed at a Security Council meeting.
The head of state also announced a decision to pull out the military contingent from the Cam Ranh Bay base in Vietnam and close down the electronic listening centre in Lourdes, Cuba.