Vladimir Putin: Today we are to review Russia’s military-technical cooperation with foreign countries over the past year and to discuss our near-term plans.
As you know, we have recently taken certain steps to improve the system of military-technical cooperation. I am referring to the improvement of the regulatory framework and the fact that some companies have been granted the right to engage in foreign economic activities independently, for example, to supply spare parts and provide maintenance services abroad. The actions of the federal agencies in the sphere of military-technical cooperation are better coordinated now.
On the whole it has enabled us to remove unnecessary departmental barriers and become more efficient. Last year total exports amounted to $4.82 billion, which was $500 million above the target.
I firmly believe that the Russian military-industrial complex can develop these positive trends further and strengthen not only Russia’s economic, but also political position in the world. You all know very well what a sensitive area it is.
At the same time, I would like to draw your attention to several fundamental issues.
First. As in the former years, most of the earnings came from Rosoboronexport. The Instrument-Making Design Bureau and the Machine-Building Research and Production Association have fully met their targets. The MiG aircraft-building corporation has achieved impressive results.
But other exporters have failed to meet half of the targets they had set themselves. Today I would like to hear an explanation why this has happened.
Second. We should steadily widen the range of the arms we export, including hi-tech products. It should give added incentive for the development of science-intensive sectors.
Aircraft are still the main item of Russian military export. Last year they accounted for almost 70% of the total volume.
At the same time ground and naval weapons also have good prospects. Aviation reports very good performance. But in my opinion, we are falling short of targets in other areas where we can work more effectively.
We have repeatedly said that the hardware we supply needs skilled maintenance and modernization by the producer. But so far no breakthrough in this area has occurred.
And finally, I would like to say a few words about the need to strengthen discipline.
We have seen more than once that any lack of coordination between the federal bodies of power and companies does not just hinder individual projects, but has a negative impact on the country’s prestige and Russia’s ties with foreign partners.
I have touched only upon some problems and I hope that during our discussion we will cover the whole range of issues. As for administrative support, we have agreed it with the Prime Minister. As you know, the Presidential Executive Office now has a member who will be directly involved in this work. We will soon have one more Deputy Prime Minister, who will also be active in this sphere. I hope it will help to coordinate activities in this sphere because, as we have mentioned many times, we have given many companies the right to render services and supply spare parts, but I am not sure it is always done well. This merits attention. All the efforts, including our administrative efforts, are aimed at meeting these challenges.
That is all I wanted to say for starters. I would like to thank the press and let us get down to business.