The army needs approximately USD 3.1 billion to realize reforms and become contract based, said First Deputy Defence Minister and Director of the Joint Staff's Mobilization Administration Colonel-General Yuri Baluevsky at a parliament hearing in the State Duma.
He said at the present time the condition of the army is 'becoming critical', but at the same time it is impossible to emphasize this all the time. Baluevsky said the armed forces indeed have become peasant workers. In order to transfer them to contract service 'it is necessary to consider the realistic economic capabilities of the country.' He said 'servicemen must take part in the most immediate part of reform, and not absent themselves from reforms as several politicians propose.' He said military reform is not the business of the journalists, academics and human rights activists' hands.'
Moreover, he refuted information that the government's military reform program was secret. 'The Defence Ministry's plans are open to everyone, those who have the right to become acquainted with the contents of the reforms,' he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the West worried again by signing Decree No. 915. The news did not produce any public effect in Russia