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Kremlin: Defense Contract Officials Need to Get Along

Officials working with defense contracts need to stop bickering and start working together, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said Tuesday.

"We are working for a common cause, there's no need to oppose one another and argue for a long time," Ivanov, a former defense minister, said at the first meeting of a presidential task force to oversee the fulfillment of defense contracts.

"It's important that budget funds turn into actual equipment and modern weapons," Ivanov told the meeting. "So a reasonable pricing policy, personal responsibility of department heads, and constructive cooperation between all participants in the process is needed."

Anatoly Serdyukov, who succeeded Ivanov as defense minister in 2007, was dismissed from that position last month amid a scandal over allegedly unlawful sales of defense ministry property.

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