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    RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY NOT IN FOR ANY MAJOR OVERHAUL

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    OSLO, April 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Defense Ministry does not need any major overhaul as its present structure has been streamlined already, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said during a stopover in the Norwegian capital, before heading on for the United States.

    According to Mr. Ivanov, the Russian armed forces' strength will inevitably grow as railways and construction troops join in. He said that a new construction agency within the Defense Ministry would be working not just for the ministry's benefit, but for the entire nation's.

    According to the Defense Minister, the Russian military are effectively commanded from a single center and the Central Command staff's present numbers are optimal-a thousand officials per 1,100,000 service men and women.

    Current administrative reforms in the Russian government's executive branch do not envisage restructuring of the Defense Ministry, which does not mean, however, that some minor changes will not be made to the ministry's architecture or that its staffs will not be reduced, Mr. Ivanov pointed out.

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