Defense Ministry ready to discuss army reform with society

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov believes that the most painful military-reform stage is now left behind. We are now getting down to normal activities of this country's Armed Forces and their combat-training programs, Ivanov said in his report "On Main Results of Russia's Armed Forces Development in 2003" at a session of top military brass.

Still this doesn't necessarily mean that the organizational structure of our Armed Forces, their combat control system and recruitment principles won't be streamlined in the future, Ivanov told those present.

In Ivanov's words, the Defense Ministry is ready to examine reasonable proposals on improving the situation inside the Russian Armed Forces. Moreover, it's ready to conduct a dialogue with civil society. The Minister drew the attention of all top military commanders to the need for regular public relations programs, noting that they must also contact the mass media regularly enough.

We must address people, explaining the gist of army developments to them, and acquainting them with real army-and-navy problems, Ivanov noted. In the long run, every taxpayer must be sure that his or her money is being used to enhance this country's defense capability, Ivanov said in conclusion.

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