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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Rogozin, I see that you have already got to grips with your new job. This is good.
Let’s talk about the main tasks now, above all, implementation of the 2012–2014 defence procurement orders. The situation last year was not the best, to be honest. I called together the deputy prime minister responsible for the area and the defence minister in order to discuss the prospects ahead. I hope that this year will bring substantially better results.
What do I want to see exactly this year? Under the current rules, the deadline for placing orders with the common supplier, as I understand it, is March 1 this year, and the deadline for tenders and bids is April 15. I ask you to keep to these deadlines and monitor the instructions’ implementation. We cannot allow any delays for the simple reason that the defence industry companies will not get any money, and then, as always happens, everything will get shifted back to the end of the year with the risk that state procurement orders will go unfulfilled. So, monitor the situation and report to me personally.
The second issue is developing the defence industry itself. There are various processes at work in the sector, and I would not present everything as all doom and gloom, but nor is the picture all rosy either. There are modern companies producing decent products, and there are also companies that, sadly, need to upgrade their technology. Our goal is to have a strong and modern defence industry that develops new goods and weapons that will be in demand both at home and on markets abroad. The defence industry’s technological modernisation is therefore a top priority.
”Our goal is to have a strong and modern defence industry that develops new goods and weapons that will be in demand both at home and on markets abroad. The defence industry’s technological modernisation is therefore a top priority.“
We need to ensure quality control of the industry’s goods too, so as to avoid conflicts between the companies and the Defence Ministry. We don’t want situations when the companies say, “Buy all of our goods, because everything we make is good quality,” and the Defence Ministry says, “They are worthless compared to the NATO models.” These are therefore the two key tasks for the defence industry today.
Finally, I am ready to hear your proposals on developing and improving the industry’s organisation and management, including with regard to the place, role, and importance of Rosoboronzakaz, Rosoboronpostavka and other organisations involved in the sector’s work. You have the floor.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin: Thank you, Mr President. In accordance with your instruction, we have begun hands-on management of getting this year’s state defence procurement programme carried out.
I can give you the following figures. We have already placed orders accounting for around 22 percent of the allocated budget funds, and orders accounting for 83 percent of funds provided in the form of loans. This is considerably better than last year.
I have been meeting weekly with Defence Ministry and defence industry officials. We hold away meetings on the different sectors 2–3 times a week, and are clearing up all the backlog of work. I hope that we will have no problems getting stable production underway this year, as you instructed, given that only stable production can ensure the higher quality we need. I will make separate proposals on this issue a little later.
As for modernising the defence industry, in accordance with your instruction, we have set the deadlines for approving the draft federal targeted programme for developing the defence industry. The draft will be examined on February 15, and on March 1 I will submit it to a Government Cabinet meeting. The programme envisages allocating up to 3 trillion rubles for modernising the entire defence industry through to 2020.
Taking the missile defence sector, a strategic sector for us, and one that you have been working on personally (and I am your special envoy for cooperation with NATO in this area), you signed an executive order establishing the aerospace defence force a year ago now.
Dmitry Medvedev: The new force.
Dmitry Rogozin: Yes, the new force. That order has been carried out. I have now taken the relay from Sergei Ivanov on the matter of the aerospace defence force’s equipment supplies. I can report that work has already begun on building new plants. In particular, a plant that will employ 5,000 people is under construction in Nizhny Novgorod and will produce goods worth 6 billion rubles. A plant with similar output in Kirov will employ 3,000 people. Both plants will be completely specialised in the development of ground-based systems and aerospace defence systems capable of destroying missiles.
In terms of overall research and development, as far as the aerospace defence force goes, we will hopefully end up with some models that surpass those of our potential adversaries.
Dmitry Medvedev: Good. As far as the plants go, as you said, you often end up having to turn to hands-on management. I also had to put in some effort to push this idea through. Unfortunately, for various bureaucratic reasons, this whole process has been delayed. It is good that construction work is actually beginning now. I hope that we will soon see these plants’ goods, because as you and our consumers know, these are products for which there is demand at home and abroad. We need to ensure full and proper funding for this production because the scheme that was proposed was a compromise option. If it works, so much the better, but if any problems come up, let me know so that we can make the necessary changes. A number of former government officials took an obstructive line when we were implementing this system, and we need to bring order to the situation now. I hope that you will do this.
Dmitry Rogozin: We will do this, Mr President. I will keep you informed immediately at every stage.
Dmitry Medvedev: That’s agreed then.