Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,
You are well aware that a commission on military reform began work 18 months ago. Besides the problems of the Defence Ministry, it took up the issues of the whole military sector and its branches. Now the time has come to take relevant personnel decisions. They have now been taken; and these decisions, I repeat, are a logical end of one of the stages of modernising the military sector of our country.
Secretary of the Security Council Sergei Ivanov has been appointed Defence Minister. He headed a working group which drew up a draft of the military reform. I believe he is the best candidate for the position of Defence Minister. Since he was in charge of the group that worked on the main principles of the reform, it would only be fair to task him with making the reform a reality.
I believe that the Security Council will pay more attention to the problems of the North Caucasus. This decision followed changes in the situation in the Caucasus and the Chechen Republic.