Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the decree about the establishment of the Federal Agency for Military Hardware yesterday. The new organization will start working from January 1 2008 and will have only civil personnel. The idea of a civil agency dealing with military affairs appeared in Russia about two years ago. Putin mentioned the issue in his annual address to the Federal Assembly in 2006. The problem has been receiving such an extensive attention due to enormous funds circulating in the sphere of defense order.
The new agency is expected to develop the joint price policy for the formation and implementation of contracts based on the state defense order. In other words, it will be possible to avoid price differences when defense products made by one and the same makers are purchased at different prices by Russia’s various military structures. The current scheme, which the new agency is set to improve, automatically creates the nourishing ground for corruption. The agency will deal with contracts for all military structures in general, with their implementation and funding.
The agency for purchasing military hardware will be a civil organization to avoid corruption. Its officials will work with hundreds of billions of rubles every year. The staggering sums of money are currently being controlled by military officials from a variety of departments in the structure of the Defense Ministry of Russia and its divisions. Once the new agency starts its activities, the military structures will only have to decide the subject and the volume of their orders. The state will therefore obtain tough control over the purchasing transactions for all military organizations.
It is worthy of note that the Federal Service for State Defense Order and the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service will also be involved in supervising the functions connected with the purchasing of military hardware. The three-sided control is expected to cut Russia’s expenses for purchasing of arms.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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