Rogozin dismisses Kudrin’s reproaches of militarizing Russia

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

MOSCOW. Jan 24 (Interfax) – Russia is implementing a program of modernizing its Armed Forces which it has not done for almost a quarter of a century, Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in commenting on an interview with former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin to Der Spiegel.

“Why play along with the West and repeat the fundamentally erroneous claims about the militarization of Russia, Alexei Leonidovich? We did not update the Armed Forces for a quarter of a century!” Rogozin tweeted.

He quoted part of Kudrin’s interview saying: “These people forget that one of the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union was the arms race. In those days we produced many tanks and warplanes. Meanwhile, people lined up with ration cards. This mistake must not be repeated.

The longer economic and political reforms are delayed, the more difficult it will be later.”

Rogozin added: “How will we be resolving combat tasks? With the bodies of conscripts the way our liberals did during the first Chechen war or will modern Russia succeed in restoring a reliable shield capable of guaranteeing secure life and economic prosperity to the country and people?”

“You must know that today at every munitions plant we are upgrading production equipment also for the manufacture of competitive civilian goods, hence our defense industry is truly acting as the locomotive of the entire economy, a guarantor of its advancement,” Rogozin wrote.

“I think there should be criticism of the actions of the ‘defense sector’ of the government, but I ask you not to stir panic!” he added.