The door opens for Putin's presidency, version 3.0. Photo: Kremlin.ru
Just a few hours after he was sworn in as Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin ordered the government to ensure the development of the Navy in the Arctic; improving intelligence, modernizing weaponry and determines the limits of the Arctic continental shelf.
Putin did not waste time showing his priorities as President for the coming six years. Monday afternoon he issued several decrees, three of them directly devoted to defense and foreign policy.
The decree on implementation of development plans for the Armed Forces and defense modernization states that the Navy should be especially developed in the Arctic and the Far East in order to protect Russia’s strategic interests. The Putin-decree also highlights that by 2020, 70 percent of all equipment and weapon systems of the Armed Forces should be modern weaponry.
50 000 more contract soldiers annually Another decree focuses on improvement of military service. Putin says in the decree that over the next five years, the numbers of soldiers performing military service under contract should increase by not less than 50 000 people annually. The decree also states that the wages for soldiers should not be lower than the salaries given to employees of leading sectors in the Russian economy. Also, citizens that have past military service should get additional benefits to enroll in higher education, including extra grants.
The decree also reintroduces the practice from the Soviet period with military-patriotic education of students in civilian educational institutions.
Visa-freedom with EU Vladimir Putin also signed a special decree on Russia’s future foreign policy. This decree highly underlines the importance of Russia’s support to international organizations like the UN, WTO, CIS, ASEAN and G8. Equality with the European Union is important, especially mentioned is the importance of seeking an agreement with the EU on the abolition of visas for short-term mutual trips of citizens.
Strengthening Arctic cooperation In the Arctic, Vladimir Putin wants the government to work hard to proper international legal registration of external borders, including determine the limits of the continental shelf and surrounding maritime areas. This should be done to ensure Russia’s national interests, primarily in the field of security and economy and based on a task of strengthening trust and cooperation with neighboring countries.
All decrees entered force with immediate effect on Monday, a few hours after Putin’s inauguration ceremony in Kremlin.