Vladimir Putin: Dear colleagues,
Before proceeding to a discussion of the main question, I would like, taking advantage here of the presence of the heads of the law-enforcement agencies, to say a few words about the situation in the Chechen Republic with regard to the preparations for the referendum on a Constitution. We've been addressing this subject regularly. I want to once again return to this in the context of the preparations for the referendum as this relates to the necessity of creating there the most favorable conditions for voting on this major question for Chechnya.
In this connection I would like to return to the efficacy of certain elements which have been created in the Chechen Republic, elements for the maintenance of law and order. I mean, first of all, the checkpoints and roadblocks in the territory of the Chechen Republic. I think it is no secret to anybody that they were extremely necessary at the initial period of the counterterrorist operation and even now are not yet useless. But their effectiveness in the form in which they exist today is extremely low. Therefore, above all, I call your attention to the necessity to think of the quantitative optimization of the checkpoints and roadblocks in Chechnya, for they must be left only where they are really needed for the ensuring of security.
And the second point. You know of the complaints about violations of law in the carrying out of various measures. They are being carefully investigated and will continue to be investigated in the future. I want to draw your attention to unconditional fulfillment of the requirements of the law and the appropriate departmental instructions and orders which are operative in this sphere, including to the obligatory presence of prosecutor's office representatives during the conduct of special operations. This has to be observed absolutely. Just today I spoke with the Prosecutor General and reminded him of that. I ask the heads of the law-enforcement agencies to assist the activities of the prosecutor's office in Chechnya.
Now let us move to the topic, for which we have gathered today.
Over the recent period we have adopted a number of doctrinal documents with respect to defense and security; among them: the National Security Concept, Naval Doctrine and the Doctrine of Information Security. The principles have been determined for a long-term policy on such issues as nuclear deterrence, maritime, aviation and space activities. Concrete guidelines are charted for modernizing and developing the defense-industrial and scientific-technological complexes of the country.
Today we are to continue this work. On our agenda are the foundations of the state's military-technological policy for the period till 2015 and beyond. A policy that must integrate the results of an objective analysis of the geopolitical situation and the character of potential threats to the security of Russia and the real economic possibilities of the state.
And, of course, this policy has to rely on the contemporary trends in the theory and practice of the ”art of war“, among which the rapid development of information technology, of integrated systems of intelligence, control and communications and of high precision weapons.
At present it is the quality, not the quantity of arms that determines the defense capability of the state, the possibilities of the Armed Forces. And our strategic task is to provide the Armed Forces, other troops, military units and agencies with state-of-the-art weapons and equipment; and first of all through this to achieve a qualitative strengthening of their potential and fighting capacity.
In planning the military technological policy, we need to consider several aspects of fundamental importance.
First, it is important to clearly understand what combat equipment is necessary for the effective solution of tasks in the field of defense and security. Necessary today, and, which is particularly important, will be required in the long term. We need to determine in what priority sectors to concentrate our efforts and resources.
Second, it is necessary to figure out accurately the stages and timeframes for the development, manufacture and bringing into service of new weapon systems. They have to be well substantiated and realistic. It is therefore important to link those timeframes to the cycles of development of the defense industry and science of the country. And, of course, they have to be linked to the stages of reformation of the Armed Forces. In this case, I think, it will do no harm to take note of current needs as well. We are setting tasks for the long term, but behind this long-run view we should not forget what the army needs at present. We held a meeting with young officers. By all means attention should be paid to those things of which the people spoke who do not sit in high offices, but are really working in the army, serving with the forces. The Defense Minister noted some things; I would like this to be carried out. This doesn't cost much. It is simply a number of facts set straight by the officers who are really engaged in the upbringing of people, their training, and if necessary — are fighting as well.
I will again repeat that in setting the parameters of our military technological policy, it is necessary to evaluate the country's economic possibilities realistically. The Prime Minister has fallen ill, is not present here, but there is his Deputy/Minister of Finance. I expect you to also take an active part in today's debate, bearing in mind the circumstances of the economic possibilities of the country and the appropriate calculations, forecasts of the economic block of the Government with regard to economic development and growth. Our defense expenditures ought not to be a load on the people, they should not impede economic growth and the solution of urgent social problems.
And, finally, the fourth point. Only experienced, well trained people can use modern equipment effectively. Therefore improving the system of personnel training ought to become one of the most important aims of our military-technological policy. This task should be closely linked with the adopted decisions on the shift to contract service.
In conclusion I would like to note that definite positive trends are already evident in the military-technological field. A number of important conceptual documents have been adopted and there goes the consolidation of the defense-industrial sector. The situation with financing defense expenditures has stabilized.
We understand how important it is to maintain and support the cadre potential of the defense-industrial sector, its highly valuable specialists. We have just discussed this question for a little while. It is clear that in some enterprises, which operate in the market, they have the possibilities for the inducement of their employees, for a serious inducement. But there are spheres and enterprises which require special attention and support from the state. And here it is necessary to develop a system of additional financial, material incentives to high-class specialists for special achievements in the field of the defense industry over and above their established salaries.
As before, there are quite a number of problems. We shall today speak about all this. Their solution will require time and well-organized, coordinated actions by many departments. And it is important to remember constantly that the security of the country, the peace and tranquility of the citizens of Russia directly depend on the success and effectiveness of this work.