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    RUSSIA DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH MODERN WEAPONS AND MILITARY HARDWARE, SAYS DEFENSE MINISTER

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    OMSK, JANUARY 15, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI). Russia does not have enough modern weapons and military hardware, defense minister Sergei Ivanov said at the meeting with the leaders of the Siberian Federal District.

    As far as conventional weapons are concerned, we do not have today enough modern arms patterns and military hardware. We often hear: give money, new hardware and the situation in the troops will improve cardinally. This is a dangerous illusion, Ivanov said.

    According to him, the shortage of the means is not the only and not the main problem in the army's development. It is not enough to have modern hardware and means for exercises, flights and so on. It is necessary to know how to use this equipment smartly, the minister pointed out.

    Ivanov believes that the psychology of the transitional period, when a commander faced one task only - to survive at any cost even losing the necessary combat readiness and fighting efficiency. Now, this situation is inadmissible, the minister stressed. When assessing the possibility of the state to finance the defense ministry in the near future we can speak only about the stage-by-stage re-armament of the army and navy although the volume of financing is steadily growing, Sergei Ivanov pointed out.

    The minister also stressed that even in these difficult conditions Russia managed to preserve and strengthen the nuclear shield. A regular regiment equipped by the latest missile complex "Topol-M" was placed on combat duty on December 21, 2003.

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