Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. Today we are again addressing our activity in the sphere of military-technical cooperation, including the legal and regulatory basis for the organisation of this work. We will discuss certain problems still outstanding and map out plans for the future.
I believe that the strengthening of the economic and political position of our country in the world directly hinges on the effectiveness of the work in the sphere of military-technical cooperation. Besides, the proceeds being obtained from military-technical cooperation are, as we have said many times, a good resource for the modernisation of Russia’s military complex.
A number of tasks in support of exports of military products have been accomplished this year. The Government is conducting systematic improvement work in the sphere of military-technical cooperation and keeps related questions under control.
But today I think it is more important to concentrate on what has not yet been done and to figure out why.
One key area is streamlining the procedure for exports of special equipment. Reducing bureaucracy, as we have already discussed, is not to be equated with voluntary regulation, and rigid state control must be ensured.
The commission is already making use of its right to make decisions on arms supply independently. At present more than half of the decisions on exports are being taken at the commission's level. This has made it possible to really speed up the implementation of foreign trade deals, and consequently we are receiving requests from our partners more quickly.
In September I signed an order simplifying the procedure for the export of spare parts, technical services and the repair of military products. Now a wider range of enterprises have the right to work with foreign customers in these areas. I also regard as timely the Government’s decision on compensation for damages to MTC entities under force majeure circumstances.
All these measures must improve the system of after-sale service of Russian military products and ensure priority for our producers. This is a serious and capacious market, comparable in size to the market of new arms; I mean spare parts and services. It's easy to lose this market, but it's very hard to regain it. I think the latest decisions will help us firmly occupy our positions.
One more item on the agenda is the training of foreign specialists in our military educational institutions.
As of now, cooperation in this area is being maintained with 51 countries around the world, and with each passing year an ever larger number of countries show interest in training their military specialists in Russia. More than half of those being trained are servicemen from the countries of the Collective Security Treaty and the Commonwealth of Independent States, which is of basic importance for the strengthening of our ties with our closest neighbours. In the training of military personnel, however, I think it necessary to take into account not only the commercial, but also the military-political aspect of cooperation. I suggest that we meaningfully discuss measures that would strengthen the position of the Russian military school.
In conclusion I will note once again: work in the sphere of military-technical cooperation requires long-term planning and systemic organisation. And, of course, a high degree of responsibility in decision-making and implementation. I suggest we get down to discussion, and I would like to thank the press for the attention which they are showing to our work.