23:52 GMT +319 March 2019
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    OMSK, JANUARY 15. /RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT ALEXEI BEREZIN/ -- The strength of Russia's armed forces has been brought to the level of defence sufficiency, or "approximately one million servicemen", Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said at a meeting with the heads of the Siberian federal district. The Thursday meeting was held in the city of Omsk in the South West of Siberia.

    He also said that "the period of radical reform of the armed forces and army restructuring" in over in Russia. According to Sergei Ivanov, "time has come for normal combat training, work and full-fledged military development".

    As an example of change in the Russian army the defence minister cited the manning procedure. "An active switchover to the contract principle of recruitment for private and sergeant positions has begun", added Sergei Ivanov. And continued that "the practical experiment" on phasing in the manning principle was over with success in 2003. The experiment was held in the 76th airborne division, located in Pskov in Russia's North Western region. "Now Russia has an efficient unit of permanent readiness fully placed on the contract basis", he said.

    The head of the Russian defence establishment specially focused on the need for a closer coordination of activities of all the components of the national defence system. One result of it must be "the elimination of parallel work and unjustified duplication in the development of the state's military organisation and, eventually, a substantial saving of funds", said the Russian Defence Minister.

    Among the top priorities in the development of the Russian armed forces he cited the preservation and improving of the potential of the strategic deterrence forces, strengthening of the permanent-readiness units, modernisation of arms and the military hardware, improvement of the system of social ensurance of servicemen, as well as their "patriotic education and moral-psychological preparation".

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