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    Russia to reform its armed forces by 2020 - defense minister

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    Russia's Armed Forces will undergo three stages of transformation before their reform is over by 2020, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Sunday.

    Russia's Armed Forces will undergo three stages of transformation before their reform is over by 2020, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Sunday.

    The minister said the first stage involved organic staff measures.

    "We have actually completed these measures. We have cut the strength of personnel to 1 million who will comprise 150,000 officers, 100,000-120,000 professional sergeants while the rest will be conscripts," Serdyukov said in an interview with Vesti Nedeli TV program.

    Serdyukov said the second stage involved social issues and the third phase dealt with the issues of armament.

    "Armament supplies are quite a long process. We have divided it into two parts. At the first stage, which will last until 2015, modern armaments in our army must comprise no less than 30% while this figure must increase to 70% by 2020," Serdyukov said.

    The defense minister said the year 2020 was expected to see the end of military reform in Russia.

    MOSCOW, October 31 (RIA Novosti)

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