President Vladimir Putin: We know what condition the fleet was in. It was not a pleasant legacy. Unfortunately, much has been lost during the 1990s.
In addition to restoring a significant part of the fleet's fighting capacity, we have created
realistic programmes for its development. The last military exercises, including those where I was present, bear witness to the fleet's development. Vladimir Ivanovich [Kuroedov], this is in large part due to your work. There were unpleasant events, and even tragedies. All of us are aware of them. But I would like to emphasis once again, that the fleet is reviving.
Important tasks await Vladimir Vasilevich [Masorin], who is not new to the fleet. He knows, just as all of us know and understand, that a fleet is essential for resolving important questions related to Russia's national security, and many fundamental economic issues. Through all of its elements, including the nuclear one, the fleet is one of the basic means to guarantee the state's security.
As I have already mentioned, realistic plans for the fleet's development have recently been put forward. Many things have already been accomplished. We can already see an aircraft carrier cruiser at work, and the increasing formation of pilots of naval aircraft and seamen. Many underwater and surface vessels have been repaired, and new ones have been ordered. Some have already been received, and are presently being equipped with arms.
Along with this, I repeat that many more tasks await. I admit that corrections are possible. I would like to draw attention to what is clear for all of us, namely that ship construction and the fleet's development are very specific tasks whose construction and implementation will take place in the long-term, and thus require thorough planning. This is implies well-timed financing, and administrative and legal support.
Without a doubt, even in light of the government's improved economic situation, we cannot resolve these problems, and those of seamen's social security, if we do not increase discipline and law and order.