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Working meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu

November 9, 2012, The Kremlin, Moscow

Mr Shoigu proposed Valery Gerasimov as the new chief of the General Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces.

* * *

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: Mr President,

I propose Valery Gerasimov as the new chief of Armed Forces General Staff. He is a military man through and through, someone who has spent his career in the armed forces and is respected there, and he has a wealth of experience at General Staff itself as well as in the field. He has taken part in military operations too, of course.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Gerasimov, which years were you First Deputy Chief of the General Staff?

Valery Gerasimov: From 2010 to 2012.

Vladimir Putin: You worked two years in the post?

Valery Gerasimov: Eighteen months.

Vladimir Putin: You are an experienced person. We will have more opportunities to talk, to discuss the issues facing the Armed Forces today, the issues facing the army, navy, and air force.

Of course, one of the top priorities is re-equipping the Armed Forces, but this is not our only task. There is also work to do on improving the Armed Forces’ structure and command.

I know you from earlier positions, and I think the Minister has chosen a good candidate. I hope that you will work with maximum effort and effectiveness.

Valery Gerasimov: Commander in Chief, I thank you for your confidence in me.

I think the General Staff’s efforts should focus entirely on the main goal of guaranteeing that our Armed Forces are combat ready and able to carry out all missions given them. I will do all in my power to achieve this goal. 

Vladimir Putin: The General Staff has a big say in deciding what kinds of arms we supply to the different Armed Forces branches and troops. We do have a problem to settle, and it is something that can be taken care of in routine fashion, but the objective of course is to keep problems to a minimum.

The problem is that of late we have often run up against the Defence Ministry changing the demands it places on the defence industry. This is natural of course, because changing circumstances in life constantly require us to make adjustments. Science and technology in this sector develop fast, and new means of warfare are emerging all the time. Of course we need to make the latest advances our reference, but at the same time, a degree of stability is also essential.

I hope very much that you and the Minister will succeed in building a good and stable partnership with the defence industry companies.


November 9, 2012, The Kremlin, Moscow