President Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon dear colleagues!
As you know, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation has more than once raised the issue of the need to make changes to the cabinet structure.
One of the main tasks that we are embarked on together involves increasing innovation in the Russian economy. In connection with this, the Prime Minister and I made a decision and I then signed a decree on expanding Sergei Borisovich Ivanov’s spheres of responsibility within the cabinet of the Russian Federation: in addition to the military industry Sergei Borisovich will coordinate part of the civil sector of the economy. Along with this Sergei Borisovich has been promoted to First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia.
I expect that the positive results from work in the military industry will be expanded to the civil sector. As you know, the figures describing the increase in our exports of weapons and special technical equipment are proof of the positive tendencies in the military industry. Last year we achieved yet another record in this sphere – more than six billion dollars.
I believe that Sergei Borisovich accomplished the tasks he incurred in the Defence Ministry, and accomplished them well. And of course this new situation means that he can not act as Defence Minister any more. In this case, it would be impossible to sit in two chairs. We need to implement the plans we already have, plans for development and reequipment until 2012–2015. The plans have been worked out, and a great deal has already begun and is being executed. I want to emphasise that the challenge lies in fully implementing all that has been planned.
And today what we need in this sphere is a person with experience in economics and finance to accomplish this task, namely to organise effective work and to spend the huge – at least huge for our country – budgetary resources in a rational manner. In connection with this I signed a decree appointing Anatolii Eduardovich Serdiukov to the position of Defence Minister of the Russian Federation. Mr Serdiukov has worked in the Finance Ministry of the Russian Federation as the head of the Federal Tax Service for the last three years.
The Prime Minister also considers it expedient to increase work in the sphere of foreign economic relations, first and foremost with the CIS countries. I fully agree with these suggestions, and Sergei Evgenevich Naryshkin who is also being promoted to Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation will assume these functions.