President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu,
I want to thank you, the Defence Ministry and the Naval Command for your preparations and for holding the Main Naval Parade in St Petersburg and naval parades in other cities.
Please convey my words of gratitude to all service personnel and all those who took part in preparing this big, large-scale and significant event.
Once again, my congratulations to you on the country’s Navy Day.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: Thank you.
We are fortunate, as you have rightly pointed out, thanks to the current programme under which we are actively and seriously upgrading the armaments of our fleet, we have something to show.
All of the Navy’s officers and the Command have been preparing for this parade and have been looking forward to it, just like, in fact, the nation as a whole.
Vladimir Putin: Let me remind you how it all began several years ago.
As is the case now, I was aboard a plane and I was reading. You know I am fond of historical literature. I stumbled across an article about the main naval parade that was held in pre-revolutionary Russia in Kronstadt. I called you straight from the plane. And after that, preparations were underway for organizing the Main Naval Parade in St Petersburg and other places. It is, indeed, becoming, in fact, it has already become a great tradition, an important holiday, not only for navy sailors but also for the entire country.
Sergei Shoigu: Mr President, I have a number of issues to report to you.
First is the further progress of the State Armament Programme. Much has been done. Fairly recently you attended keel-laying ceremonies for open-ocean and high-seas vessels. Apart from that, there are several issues that I think can contribute to improving the quality and increasing the volume of the quantitative part of the State Armament Programme.
The second issue concerns your meeting with the Prime Minister and the Government’s economic ministers on next year’s budget. We have a number of proposals in this regard and I would like us consider and discuss them today.
And the third topic obviously concerns everything connected with prospects for the development of our research component, in particular, relating to the programme for upgrading the military industrial complex. New opportunities and new prospects have emerged there.
I would like to discuss them with you.
Vlaidmir Putin: All right. Let us get down to work.