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27 septembre 2013 5 27 /09 /septembre /2013 11:40
Putin, Lukashenko Arrive for Last Stage of Military Exercise

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko  photo RIA Novosti. Alexei Druzhinin



KHMELEVKA (Kaliningrad region), September 26 (RIA Novosti)


Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, arrived on Thursday at a testing range in western Russia for the final stage of an extensive exercise conducted by the two countries’ militaries.


The heads of state arrived at the Khmelevka range on Russia’s Baltic Sea coast aboard the same helicopter. The six-day exercise, code-named Zapad (West), has been held every two years since 2009.


Khmelevka is 12 kilometers (seven miles) north of Baltiisk, the main base of Russia’s Baltic Fleet.


The presidents were welcomed at the helicopter pad by the chief of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov. Lukashenko was accompanied by his youngest son, Nikolai, dressed in military uniform.


This year’s exercise has about 12,000 Russian and 200 Belarusian servicemen, 180 combat vehicles, including 10 tanks, as well as 10 ships from Russia’s Baltic Fleet and 40 aircraft.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 07:40
CSTO to Help Tajikistan Reinforce Borders – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha speak to the press after a CSTO Council meeting, Sochi, September 23, 2013


SOCHI, September 24 (RIA Novosti)


Members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance of former Soviet states, will develop an interstate program to help Tajikistan strengthen its border with Afghanistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.


“We will take into account all possible development scenarios, take preventive measures, and provide additional collective assistance to Tajikistan to reinforce its national border with Afghanistan,” Putin told journalists Monday after a CSTO Council meeting.


“We agreed to draft a targeted interstate program for equipping this section of the border,” he said, in line with a translation of his speech posted on the Kremlin website.


CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha said Monday CSTO members would provide Tajikistan with armaments and military hardware for free to help the country guard its border with Afghanistan.


The CSTO Council, the organization’s supreme ruling body comprising leaders of the six member states, gathered in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi. Kyrgyzstan handed over the CSTO presidency to Russia for next year.


“We discussed the situation in Afghanistan in light of the international coalition’s troop withdrawal planned for 2014. Unfortunately, there is reason to expect a considerable rise in Afghan drug trafficking activity and in terrorist groups’ activeness,” Putin said, according to the translation.


He added that “extremists are already attempting to spread their activity into neighboring countries, including the Central Asian countries that are CSTO members.”


Putin earlier on Monday named Russia’s priorities during its presidency in the CSTO.


“We think it important to reinforce the external borders in the CSTO’s region of responsibility. We need to improve our practical action mechanisms for minimizing risks for each of the CSTO member countries,” he told the meeting’s participants.


He mentioned at an earlier meeting on Monday with presidents of CSTO member states - Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - that the unpredictable development of the situation in Afghanistan after the planned 2014 withdrawal of foreign military forces from that country could pose a major threat to its neighbors.


Putin emphasized further development of military cooperation and strengthening of the CSTO’s rapid-reaction force in light of future peacekeeping missions and the fight against drug-trafficking in the region.


The priority tasks will also include improved cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) - another regional player comprising former Soviet republics and China - as well as better coordination of security efforts in Central Asia and worldwide under the aegis of the United Nations, he said.

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19 septembre 2013 4 19 /09 /septembre /2013 11:40
Putin Urges Russian Weaponry Makers to Keep Up With Demands

IZHEVSK, September 18 (RIA Novosti)


Russian President Vladimir Putin urged his country’s arms manufacturers on Wednesday to produce weapons that are superior to those of possible adversaries.


“Our past successes are no reason to sit back and relax,” he said during a visit to the Kalashnikov gun maker. “We must constantly strive to stay on top of current demands.”


He added that many of Russia’s legendary weapons were “no longer able to make the grade.”


He urged the Defense Ministry and weapons makers to redouble their efforts to develop new models of arms and military equipment, especially precision weaponry and fire-control systems.


Putin’s remarks came soon after a senior Defense Ministry official said Russia’s defense industry technology was largely outdated, lagging decades behind competitors.


Lt. Gen. Alexander Shevchenko said earlier in September that many defense firms were still not ready for mass production of high-tech weapons systems and many military technologies were still at 1980s levels.


There has been a disturbing decline in the quality of weapon production, he said, adding that this was mainly due to obsolete equipment and an extremely low pace of modernization.


The Russian government has reportedly allocated 20 trillion rubles ($640 billion) for the comprehensive rearmament of the country’s Armed Forces. The measure is expected to make the share of modern weaponry rise to 30 percent by 2015, and exceed 70 percent by 2020.


Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday that Russia would spend $650 billion for the rearmament and modernization of its armed forces through 2020.

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