‘Russia is against bloodshed’ and other quotes of Putin and Shoigu at Russian Defence Ministry’s session

The Russian Ministry of Defence summed up 2021 and outlined plans for the near future. At an expanded meeting of the ministry’s panel, its Chairman Sergey Shoigu and President of the country and Chief Commander Vladimir Putin delivered speeches.

The Russian leader’s speech traditionally turned out to be rich in quotes. He paid special attention to guarantees of security published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia last week. Washington has so far expressed its readiness to discuss them. Realnoe Vremya has collected Putin’s most interesting statements from the Russian Defence Ministry’s session.

  • This year as well as the previous one, 2020, have been extraordinary. We already understand this well. First of all, because of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. It is instrumental that the Armed Forces performed all the tasks they were given accurately, without fail.
  • You wonder sometimes, why did they [Western countries] do this all on those conditions? Unclear. I think because of euphoria due to the victory in the so-called Cold War or the so-called victory in the Cold War. And because of the wrong, inaccurate evaluation of the situation at that moment and not smart, wrong analysis of possible scenarios of the situations. This is the reason. There aren’t simply other reasons.
  • Russia is against bloodshed, wants to solve problems with political and diplomatic tools but with security assurances.
  • The projects of agreements on security assurances offered by Russia aren’t an ultimatum, as foes interpret this.
  • Russia hopes to receive a clear and full answer to its offers in security assurances. There is a risk the West will try to “talk round” and “plunge the security talks into a swamp”, Moscow won’t be fine with it.
  • At every step Russia had to reply somehow, at every step the situation constantly worsened, worsened, worsened, degraded and degraded. And today we are in such a situation when we have to solve something: because we cannot permit the situation I have talked about to unfold. I don’t understand, isn’t this clear for somebody? It must be clear.
  • We don’t request any special, exclusive conditions. Russia is in favour of equal and inseparable security across Eurasia.
  • If Western colleagues’ aggressive line obviously goes on, we will take reasonable return military measures, rigidly respond to unfriendly steps. And I want to stress that we have the full right, we have the full right to take actions aimed to provide Russia’s security and sovereignty.
  • We need long-term, legally binding security assurances. We are familiar with them well: and this cannot be trusted, no legal assurances can be trusted because the United States easily withdraws from all international agreements that become uninteresting for it for some reason, it does it easily providing some explanation or not explaining anything as it happened to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Treaty on Open Skies, it withdraws from them, and that’s it.
  • We perfectly know that they [Western countries] act thousands of kilometres far from their national territory, thousands of kilometres on various pretexts. And when international law and the UN Charter impede them, they declare this all obsolete, unnecessary, while when something doesn’t meet their interests, they immediately cite international law, the UN Charter, international humanitarian law and so on. We are tired of these manipulations.
  • Defenders of the Homeland do special tasks, very complicated, responsible, risky tasks. And we will make sure they receive a worthy reward for their service.

Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu explained in his speech what the Russian Armed Forces had achieved in 2021 and what goals they set for the next few years. So the share of modern weaponry in Russia’s nuclear triad has been a record high — 89,1%. By the way, Putin made such a forecast as early as April in his address to the Federation Council.

Realnoe Vremya has collected the key moments of Shoigu’s speech at his ministry’s session:

  • More than 90% of citizens believe the Armed Forces can protect the country, while 88% feel pride in the army and navy.
  • During the next two years, it is planned to complete the digital transformation of military commissariats. On the one hand, this will allow reducing the staff and, on the other hand, raising the salary.
  • The missile and ammunition storage system continues improving. 66 modern warehouses have been built, while their total number has reached 602.
  • The Navy has received three latest submarines, four ships, 10 military boats, 17 auxiliary shops as well as three coastal defence missile systems. This year, four new military units, including artillery and marine engineering regiments have been created in the Navy.
  • A number of innovations in state armament and public defence contracts is introduced. It is the signing of long-term — up to 10 years — public contracts providing timely armament and equipment delivery to troops, technological readiness and equal utilisation of industrial enterprises. The share of such public contracts in 2021 has been 83%.
  • A set of measures in the fight against the novel coronavirus infection allowed saving the high combat readiness of the Armed Forces, doing all planned tasks and raising the state of the army and navy. The decision on developing military medicine made by the Defence Ministry allowed taking it to the lead in the country.
  • State tests of the Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile are coming to an end. Its serial supplies will start next year.
  • The number of highly precise long-range weapon carriers will rise by 30% by 2026, while the amount of different cruise missiles will double.
  • The destabilisation of the situation in Afghanistan creates risks of terrorism and drug exports to the territory of CSTO member states. We carefully oversee the situation and quickly respond to all threats posing the country’s military security.
  • The number of bombings of Donbass and popular militia positions of the Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic by Ukrainian militaries doesn’t cease provoking a response.
Tatiana Dyomina