Putin Says Russian Defense Industry Should Make More Civilian Products

Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the pace of civilian production in the country’s defense industry complex and suggested further diversification in the sector’s state-run enterprises, TASS reports.

“The share of civilian products in 2018 was nearly 21%. It might look not bad. I believe, though, that this pace is insufficient,” he said at a meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission on Thursday.

According to the Russian president, the effectiveness of measures being taken along these lines is crucial to the operation of the industry’s enterprises, their economic, technological and financial stability and their ability to cope with their operating tasks after the peak of defense contracts is over and to build up the production of competitive civilian products that are in great demand on the domestic and foreign markets. 

“The industry’s enterprises have declared the intention to launch more than 400 civilian projects for manufacturing such [civilian] products. In years to come the shipyards that usually build ships for the Navy will be building nuclear and diesel-powered icebreakers for the Northern Sea Route, and also cruise liners and fishing boats,” Putin said. “The corporation Irkut plans to deliver the medium-haul liner MC-21.”

He requested information about the measures being taken to encourage civilian production in the defense-industrial complex and to promote products to the domestic and foreign markets, and about what was being done by the government to involve defense-industrial complex enterprises in the implementation of national projects.

“Colossal funds are being disbursed along many lines. Defense-industrial enterprises must work there, but to get these resources they must come up with corresponding proposals meeting the interests of different industries,” Putin said.