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The Russian defense minister does not rule out continuation of terrorist acts.
"The explosion outside the Rizhskaya metro station is, regrettably not the first and, I think not the last terrorist act. In reality a war was declared on us while the enemy is invisible and the frontline is non-existent," Sergei Ivanov told journalists on Wednesday after a solemn meeting in the Moscow Higher Military All-Arms Academy dedicated to the Day of Knowledge. "Not only Russia is being confronted with this. Yesterday, simultaneously with the terrorist act outside the Rizhskaya metro station, two buses were exploded in Israel," Sergei Ivanov said. According to him, terrorism threatens the world. "It is difficult to fight this threat but we will use all the means available, including the political ones, to do this," Ivanov pointed out. According to him, "the people's vigilance and termination of general prosperity and tranquility" are an efficient form of struggle against terrorism. "But the law-enforcement bodies will find it difficult to solve this problem despite the fact that all the power structures have been oriented to combat this threat," the minister added. Sergei Ivanov also declared at the meeting that the draft federal budget-2005 most fully meets the requirements of the Army and Navy for the first time in the history of new Russia. "This will make it possible to improve the qualitative state of the Army and Navy, including the supply of military hardware and armaments," Sergei Ivanov noted. According to the minister, earlier the army spent "the lion's share of the budget allocations for food purchases," but now the correlation of the funds being spent changes. "For comparison: in 2001, 70% of the military budget was spent on the maintenance and 30% - on the development, and in 2005 the corresponding figures will be 60% and 40% respectively," the minister added. "Next year we plan to complete a considerable number of research and design works and prepare 300 new and modernized patterns," he reported. The combat capacity of the Armed Forces will improve also due to the creation of units of permanent readiness, where today's cadets will serve, Ivanov said. According to the minister, the realization of the federal targeted program will allow to increase the number of contract servicemen in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation up to 70% by 2008. This will be a real contribution to the creation of a professional army, Ivanov believes. The defense minister also pointed out that the combat training has intensified and its quality improved. "A number of large-scale strategic and operational-tactical exercises conducted this year are evidence to this. Some of them are unique as to their objectives. This tendency will be preserved," Ivanov assured. But not everything is good in the Russian system of military education, the minister believes. "There are higher schools which work inefficiently, and graduate a small number of officers," he told journalists. "The government has approved a program of reforming the military education," Ivanov said. It stipulates the creation of multi-profile and multi-level educational centers for preparing skilled officers. Replying to questions put by journalists about the previous names of military schools to be given to the defense ministry's higher educational establishments, the minister said: "In 1995 the military academies were called institutes and universities but this has not worked, and we simply restored historical justice." According to Ivanov, this concerns the Moscow Higher Military All-Arms Command School which has wonderful traditions. Most deputy ministers and districts' commanders studied there, Ivanov stressed.
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