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Algora Publishing - DEFENSE MINISTER SAYS MILITARY ENTERPRISES MUST CONSOLIDATE
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Tuesday,
DEFENSE MINISTER SAYS MILITARY ENTERPRISES MUST CONSOLIDATE
gor Sergeev has said the military-industrial complex must be consolidated and made more efficient if it is to survive. During his two-day tour of military bases in Central Russia, Sergeev said the Defense Ministry will be able to pay only 500,000 workers and soldiers this year out of its budget and only 780,000 in 1998, "Krasnaya Zvezda" reported on 16 October. The newspaper noted that some 2.5 million people currently work in the military sector. Sergeev also said research institutes and military manufacturers will have to compete in the market place to stay afloat. He noted that it makes little sense for Russia to have 37 separate aircraft manufacturing plants and for its design bureaus to be developing six new fighter jets, when the U.S. is working on just two and Europe one.

DEFENSE MINISTRY FUND-RAISES AMONG BANKERS.

Meanwhile in Moscow, the Defense Ministry is renewing its attempt to enlist financial support from the country's bankers, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 16 October. At a conference entitled "Non-Budgetary Sources of Financing-The Needs of National Defense," senior defense officials met with representatives of leading Russian banks in a fundraising effort. Among those attending were managers from Menatep Bank, Oneksimbank, Sberbank, and Bank Rossiiskii Kredit, all of whom said they are willing to help the ailing defense sector but noted the ministry must open its accounting books and draw up precise rules for involvement. "Kommersant-Daily" commented that no agreements were signed and the atmosphere among the bankers and generals remained somewhat strained.