Russian president demands quicker pace of military modernization

10:51, March 06, 2010      

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President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday urged Russia's armed forces to speed up the upgrading of their aging military arsenal as the country tries to build a modernized army.

The number of Russian soldiers had been reduced to 1 million since the military reform was launched in 2008, said Medvedev at a meeting with Defense Ministry officials, adding that the current priority was to build a promising army.

"I have tasked the government with bringing the amount of equipment replaced annually to an average level of 9-10 percent. That will help replace up to 70 percent of military equipment by 2020," Medvedev was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

He said equipping the army with new arms was "an extremely difficult and important task," which required major research and engineering work.

Shortly after a brief war with Georgia in August 2008, Russia unveiled military reform plans aimed at modernizing its armed forces and improving their efficiency.

Source: Xinhua
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