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Meeting with senior Defence Ministry officials and defence industry top executives

December 2, 2019, Sochi

The President opened a series of meetings on the current state and development prospects of the Russian Navy.

As per tradition, the President holds consultations with senior officials of the Defence Ministry and top executives of defence industry enterprises twice a year.

This year, the format of the meetings is slightly different. Now each series of the meetings focuses on a specific branch or corps of the military. The new format also envisages visiting of respective military units and defence industry enterprises jointly with the Defence Ministry senior officials.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues and friends.

Today we are opening our traditional, 14th series of Sochi meetings on developing military capability and fine-tuning approaches to upgrading the Armed Forces, including with modern weapons and equipment. Therefore, today we have both senior officials of the Defence Ministry and our colleagues from the defence industry present.

Before anything else, I would like to note that, as a follow-up to the previous meetings in this format, several hundred instructions have been given. In my opinion, it is not the number of instructions that is important but the way they are executed. Overall, the quality of execution is satisfactory. Seventy percent of the instructions are fulfilled while the others are at various stages of completion. And this is very important because it indicates that these biannual meetings in Sochi are necessary and rather efficient.

Why? Because we know that, should something remain unaccomplished, six months later the responsible parties will have to explain why not and what needs to be done to iron out the situation.

This time, during the current series of meetings, we will consider mostly the issues related to the development of the Navy. We will discuss in detail its condition and trends in the further enhancement of its combat potential; we will listen to reports by the heads of the shipbuilding industry on how modern ships and vessels are being developed.

Historically, the Navy plays a very important role in ensuring our country’s defence capability, defends Russia’s interests in the World Ocean, and makes a hefty contribution to the preservation of military-political stability.

Nowadays, advanced ships armed with powerful state-of-the-art missiles that have improved characteristics in terms of accuracy and destruction range come into service with the Navy. This effective armament can radically change the situation on the theatres of operations and neutralise any aggressive actions against Russia.

The Navy has confirmed its high combat potential in the fight against terrorists in Syria, and I would like to note once again the smoothness of teamwork and coordination between the Navy’s units and task forces, as well as the professionalism of those involved in the operation, the supervisor personnel, sailors and naval aviators.

Today, a Russian naval task group is permanently deployed in the eastern Mediterranean off the Syrian coast and there is our on-shore naval base at the port of Tartus.

I would also like to note that this year, Russian naval ships successfully pursued objectives assigned to them in the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans, including in order to protect shipping and oppose piracy in the South China Sea, in the area of the Gulf of Aden, the Strait of Malacca, the Singapore Strait, and in the Caribbean. A total of 111 cruises have been performed, involving 70 surface ships and 27 support ships, as well as 15 multi-purpose submarines.

The Oceanic Shield 2019 exercise has been held at a high level, an exercise that for the first time involved naval aircraft from all the four fleets. The Northern Fleet carried out a unique tactical exercise in the Arctic, during which marines practiced over-the-beach landings on the coast and islands in the Arctic Ocean. Combat ships have drilled operations to protect maritime economic activity on the Arctic shelf.

We must continue to develop a modern, high-tech and well-balanced Navy and to provide it with state-of-the-art weapons and equipment.

Colleagues, I would like to draw your attention to the following high-priority goals.

First, it is important to retain the current pace of the Navy’s development. For this purpose, we need to ensure the coordinated work of state and military administrative agencies and the country’s industrial and research sectors.

Second, it is necessary to expand the Navy’s combat capabilities in the next few years. This largely depends on the scheduled adoption of upgraded frigates and submarines that can launch Zircon hypersonic missiles (these weapons are becoming crucial for maintaining strategic stability), as well as destroyers and multirole amphibious warfare ships. Today, I will ask you to report in detail about the work on new ships and their weapons systems.

And, third, the consistent development of the Navy should not be confined to the military organisation’s framework, and we have already discussed this many times with industry representatives.

Naval research and development projects are a driving force in scientific aspects and economic sectors all over the world. And we need to see to it that advanced military technologies and innovations facilitate the manufacture of popular civilian goods, and that defence industry companies and shipyards expand their range and production volumes.

I believe that we have a lot to discuss here because entire sectors and companies have accomplished a lot in some areas, and it appears that we need to create additional incentives in other sectors.

Let’s start working.


December 2, 2019, Sochi