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Designated Russian defense minister vows to further integrate economy, military

by Elsa Court May 14, 2024 4:09 PM 1 min read
Andrei Belousov speaks during a meeting of the Federation Council's Committee on Defence and Security in Moscow, Russia on May 13, 2024. (Federation Council Press Service/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Integrating the military with Russia's economy is a key task for its Defense Ministry, soon-to-be-appointed Russian Defense Minister Andrei Belousov told the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, on May 14.

President Vladimir Putin proposed on May 12 that Belousov, a former aide and Russia's economy minister in 2012-2013, should replace Sergei Shoigu as defense minister in a major reshuffle of Russia's security and defense apparatus.

Belousov said that his predecessor modernized Russia's Armed Forces, and Putin has now "set the task of ensuring the integration of the economy of the Armed Forces into the country's economy," according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.  

This "implies increasing the efficiency of military spending," according to RIA Novosti.

In terms of his priorities as minister, "all the most pressing current issues are related" to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Belousov said.  

Belousov told the Federation Council that Ukraine "learns quickly" on the battlefield and claimed is it therefore "necessary to practice new methods of combat operations" while ensuring that Russia's Defense Ministry is open to innovation.

Belousov also said that Russia is facing an issue regarding military recruitment, but claimed that he does not consider a new round of mobilization necessary.

Military education also needs to be assessed as "there are certain problems" in this area, Belousov said.

"I am fully aware of my responsibility to the country, to the Russian people and the president," Belousov told the Federation Council.

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