This was said by the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov during his recent visit to the city of Severodvinsk. There were a lot of curious details mentioned during the visit, so PRAVDA.Ru decided to make a detailed report about the meeting between the Defense Minister and local media outlets.
Sergey Ivanov: Good evening. First of all, you might be interested in what we were doing in this building. We conducted a long and informal session regarding the situation at the Russian Navy and the prospects for its development for the coming five - eight years. The discussion was rather vivid, there were different views expressed, but the major point was one and the same – the state should deal with the development of the navy. If it is so, then both designers, engineers, ship-builders, ministerial departments for economy, finances and the Defense Ministry should participate in it, of course. Approaches are the following: maximum efficiency from the economic point of view, from the point of view of spending, and the close connection between the programs of ship-building and arms development. I would like to clarify this idea. You have seen that the strategic missile has been launched today – for the first time in the Russian era. The adequate defense technology should be developed and installed at the sub, the defense technology of the 21st century. If we manage to break the schedule, then the sub will not move. It is impossible to admit such a thing, and we are not intended to do that.
The development of arms and ship-building should be closely connected with financing, it should all be planned for the future. The peculiar feature of the ship-building is that we pay and deliver metal, but we will be able to see that sub in several years. It would be good to finance the works in advance, because this will lessen the cost of the vessels. At the same time, we have strong financial limits, and we cannot step over them, otherwise we will overburden the defense program and the development of the strategic nuclear forces. It is very pleasant for me that prosecutors general took part in the session – the people, who created several generations of submarines.
Question: Is there a hope for further orders for the navy, for example, for repairs and construction of submarines?
Answer: I hope, there is, within the framework of the state defense order and the arms program. The government will immaculately execute those plans. The state debts, for the Gepard submarine, for example, will be totally cleared in the nearest future. We also agreed upon entering the year 2003 without any debts.
Question: Such a grand session took place without the commander-in-chief. Why was it so? Was there any reason?
Answer: There was no reason. The naval commander-in-chief is on vacation. Admiral Suchkov was present – the Commander of the Northern Navy, I think it was enough.
Question: Mr. Ivanov, a question regarding your trip to the Novaya Zemlya (or New Land island, which is the nuclear range ground in the north of Russia). Is Russia going to resume nuke tests in connection with USA’s pulling out from the ABM Treaty?
Answer: No, Russia is not going to resume nuke tests. As you know, the State Duma ratified the document about the universal prohibition of nuclear tests. This is the law, and we are going to fulfil it, in spite of the fact that there were several states that did not ratify the document. At the same time we have the only range ground in Novaya Zemlya, we would like to see the situation and the state of it, which problems it has, in which conditions military men live there, and what is requisite to do in order to keep the range ground a range ground.
Question: Will there be any amendments made to the defense doctrine, in particular in the development of nuclear submarines in connection with the fact that the USA pulled out from the ABM Treaty?
Answer: There will be no considerable amendments made. It would not be correct to change the development strategy of the Russian navy on the assumption of the momentary fluctuations of the political situation. We proceed from our national interests and we build vessels, which will be able to provide the national security of the country in any conditions.
Vitaly Bratkov PRAVDA.Ru Severodvinsk
On the photo: Defense Minister Igor Ivanov is talking to Admiral Suchkov
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov