President Vladimir Putin: Dear colleagues!
You know that many our people were killed in the tragedy in the Kemerovo region, in the Krasnodar region and in the airplane crash [in Samara]. I suggest that we observe a minute of silence in their honour.
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(Addressing Mikhail Fradkov). Mikhail Efimovich, we obviously need to do everything possible to ensure that the investigations proceed at the highest possible levels, uncover just what caused these tragedies, and draw all necessary conclusions.
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The theme of our meeting today is military-technical cooperation.
We will discuss a range of issues linked with further improving the effectiveness of our military-technical cooperation with foreign states. First and foremost we need to review steps that will allow us to strengthen last year’s positive trends.
In 2006 the total amount of military exports reached a record figure – 6,5 billion USD. This is almost 20 percent higher than planned.
Just as in previous years we paid special attention to cooperation with our partners in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). And we have tangible results in this respect. By the end of 2006 the military exports to these countries had increased twofold.
The Intergovernmental Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation within the CSTO was able to accomplish more.
In addition to Rosoboronexport we worked successfully with other participants in military-technical cooperation. They include MiG, Mashinostroyenie and others. They have worked honourably for many years now. And I would like to thank their teams for their conscientious and effective work.
In general, the steady growth of our military exports demonstrates that Russia has confidently assumed its position among the leaders of the world’s arms market. Moreover, today we benefit from all necessary conditions to supplement our present successes. You know that last year the number of orders for Russian military products saw a marked increase. In fact, this already amounts to 30 billion USD. Along with this it is more than just Russian military aircraft that is sought after today. Foreign experts show increasing interest in our anti-aircraft defences, naval equipment and anti-tank weaponry. This gives our producers a good chance to strengthen their reputation as providers of modern, reliable weapons, and gives us a good chance to attain a new level of technological development.
And I very much hope that, as we agreed, everything necessary will be done to benefit the non-military sector of the economy as well.
As you know, on 18 January 2007 I signed a decree on several issues relating to military-technical cooperation with foreign states [Decree 54 of 18 January 2007 “On Several Issues Concerning Military-Technical Cooperation Between the Russian Federation and Foreign States” – Editor’s note]. This document modifies the existing regime governing the export of military supplies and increases the responsibility of the state intermediary in military-technical cooperation. We actually agreed on these changes a few years ago. And now we have really implemented these previous agreements.
As of the signing of the decree, the only company in Russia which benefits from the right to export arms and military equipment is Rosoboronexport. In turn, the remaining 22 participants in military-technical cooperation must focus on improving the efficiency and quality of the deliveries of parts and components as well as the maintenance services offered. Let’s us say frankly that this was a weak spot in the work we accomplished together. As a matter of fact, it was these practical considerations that rendered the decree I mentioned necessary.
In connection with this the role of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation – a federal body that is responsible for the effective operation of the whole range of military-technical cooperation – is increasing dramatically. In addition, the decree provides for special measures that will ensure financing for the development of promising weapons and military equipment. I would also emphasise developing new forms of cooperation as another priority task. In this respect the priority undoubtedly consists in the joint development of weapons and their subsequent serial production for our own requirements as well as for exports. We have concluded the corresponding agreements with certain countries including, as you know, during the visit to India in January. And we need to put these agreements into practice more quickly.
One other task involves creating joint ventures that provide maintenance services for military equipment and weapons. In connection with this let me point out that the first such company in CIS territory was recently established – the UzRosAvia company. It specialises in repairing helicopter equipment and I am convinced that the quality of service for the helicopter fleets of both Russia and Uzbekistan and – I hope – those of other countries will improve.
In conclusion I would like to once again emphasise that in order to improve the effectiveness of military-technical cooperation and to ensure stable growth in this sector it is necessary to act in a consistent and systematic way. And it is certainly necessary to use the whole range of available organisational, legal and financial instruments as much as possible.
I would like to once again emphasise that I hope that the decree that I signed – the one that I already mentioned – [Decree 54 of 18 January 2007 “On Several Issues Concerning Military-Technical Cooperation Between the Russian Federation and Foreign States” – Editor’s note] will have a positive impact on our cooperation with other countries in this field. First and foremost I am referring to providing maintenance services and spare parts. This issue is an extremely serious one and I would ask all participants in our meeting today to pay utmost attention to it.