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16 Nov, 2009 11:59

Medvedev briefs soldiers on arms and history

While other leaders are heading home from the APEC summit in Singapore, Russian President Medvedev has been onboard the Russian Navy warship “Varyag”. There he talked to sailors on different issues of state importance.

Dmitry Medvedev toured the ship and then had a 40-minute talk with the crew in the cabin. Speaking with sailors, Medvedev elaborated on Russia’s plans for the navy, armed forces rearmament and other issues.

Naval and military plans

Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia plans to step up its navy presence in the world’s oceans and has given his view on the prospects of the Russian naval force.

“We understand that Russia can only be considered the true naval power if it has a real navy, not a virtual one or one that is still in training. The navy should be capable of different tasks, taking part in battles as well as training,” president said.

“Our navy has recently been involved in more campaigns and we found funding for them. We are also ready to send our naval forces to help other missions – it is in the interest of our country as well as other countries and the international community,” Medvedev added.

He has also noted that, in the next decade, Russia will fundamentally rearm its military forces. According to Dmitry Medvedev, the armed forces must be rearmed by 30-50% and in some cases 80-90%.

“The task must be fulfilled, otherwise we will be unable to say that we have an effective army and navy,” he said.

Medvedev also pointed out that the financial crisis will not affect the rearmament of Russian armed and naval forces.

“The impact of the financial crisis on military issues will be minimal,” he said. “All key items of the state program of arms procurements will remain unchanged, including the strategic and other components."

Talking to the Varyag crew, the Russian president also elaborated on Russian history and some other issues.

“Revision of World War II outcome unacceptable”

Dmitry Medvedev stressed that Russia will not allow revision of the results of World War II for geopolitical reasons.

“A revision of the outcome of World War II and the contribution of the Soviet Union and the Red Army is unacceptable for geopolitical reasons. If we open this box, we could get real serious state problems,” Medvedev said.

The head of state added that the war left a number of disputed questions that still remain open, such as territorial disputes with Japan.

“If we allow the events to develop differently, it can lead to things such as reconsideration of the decisions made by the Nuremberg tribunal. They will say ‘Why try them? They are not criminals.’ It is absurd,” Medvedev said.

“We should not fight different viewpoints, but defend our own interests and prevent the falsification of history, which could harm the interests of the Russian state,” president added.