Finance Minister reports military reform financing to President Putin

Russia's Vice Premier/Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has reported the financing of the military reform to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The decisions that had an objective of developing and strengthening the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation" have been realised, he told the president.

He also said additional funds were being allocated for the army reform, namely for the switchover to a contract army.

In the first year of the reform, funds will be spent on repairs of barracks for contract-serving soldiers, who, as he put it, must have better conditions than conscripts. In the second, third and fourth year, money will be spent on raising money allowances. Simultaneously, conscripts will be replaced by contract soldiers. "The allowances must be large enough to attract soldiers," observed Kudrin.

In the meantime, the government has almost finished co-ordinating the program of the military reform submitted by the Defence Ministry.

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