Russia won’t be drawn into arms race, but needs to catch up – Putin

November 10, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, chairs a meeting on the development of the defense complex in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi. © Alexei Druzhinin
Russia won’t take part in any kind of arms race, but the country’s defense industry needs to bridge some gaps, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said.

“We're not going to get involved in some sort of arms race. Especially, chase or bypass somebody,” Putin said during a meeting on the development of Russian armed forces in Sochi.

“We just need to catch up on what was lost at the turn of the 1990s – 2000s when the armed forces and the military-industrial complex were chronically underfunded,” he added.

During the meeting, the president stressed the importance of implementing measures aimed at increasing the efficiency of interaction between the Defense Ministry and the military-industrial complex.

“Creating a modern army equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry and military hardware, of course, remains one of the priorities of military construction. In fact, it was always like that,” he said.

The amount of new and upgraded models of weaponry received by the Russian military this year has increased by over a quarter compared to 2014, according to Putin.

“It’s important that the incoming modern weaponry is extensively used" by the armed forces, he added. 

The president also touched upon the issue of import substitution in the defense industry in view of the West’s sanctions against Russia.

“It (import submission) represents high-tech development of individual sectors of our industry, which should have a positive impact on the civilian sectors as well," Putin said.

According to the State Program of Armaments, adopted in 2011, Russia will spend around $650 billion on modernizing and reequipping its military until 2020.

Earlier, this year the Defense Ministry announced there will be no cuts to the program despite economic difficulties in Russia.