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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Popovkin, I have signed an Executive Order appointing you First Deputy Defence Minister. I wish you every success and hope that your area of responsibility, which primarily covers armaments, military equipment and a whole range of issues related to the civilian component of the Defence Ministry, will see a positive development and that we will be able to implement the state armaments procurement programme which is being finalised at present.
It is a major programme, complex and labour-intensive, aimed at creating a modern and effective armaments supply system for our military, rearming and remanning it, as stipulated by the priorities we have set and which will create a new foundation for the development of our Armed Forces until 2020 and even 2030.
This is a big and difficult task. I hope we will adopt new efficient work methods, forever abandoning our approach of patching up problems in the Armed Forces, which was typical of the 1990s and the beginning of this decade.
We need to be systematic and scrupulous in our work with suppliers of military equipment because they sometimes mess up and supply us with products of inferior quality. There can also be very significant financial discrepancies. Therefore, everyone has to be reined in, but at the same time we will continue purchasing everything we need to ensure combat capability and readiness of our Armed Forces.
First Deputy Defence Minister Vladimir Popovkin: Thank you for your trust.
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Dmitry Medvedev: I would like to inform you that I have signed an Executive Order appointing Sergei Karakayev Commander of the Strategic Missile Forces. It is a very responsible post. The effectiveness of our nuclear shield will depend on you. I hope that you will do everything in your power and everything that depends on you to apply your knowledge and your experience for the benefit of your country and to build a required management system in the Russian Armed Forces.
We have been reducing our nuclear arsenal, but this must not affect our combat readiness within the framework of the current treaty and the new treaty that is to be ratified. It is crucial for our Strategic Missile Forces to be in full combat preparedness and able to perform missions assigned to them.
Commander of the Strategic Missile Forces Sergei Karakayev: Commander-in-Chief, I will not let you down.
Dmitry Medvedev: Good. Get down to work.