(Dan Tri) – New Russian Defense Minister Andrey Belousov said that Moscow has a lot of work to do to improve the welfare of soldiers fighting in the Ukraine conflict.

Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov was chosen as Russia’s Defense Minister (Photo: Sputnik).

Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 12 nominated First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov to be Russia’s Defense Minister for the new term, replacing Sergei Shoigu.

During a hearing before the Federal Council on May 13, Mr. Belousov stated that Russian soldiers fighting in the military campaign in Ukraine should receive adequate salaries.

`Now this salary has been raised to at least 200,000 rubles ($2,200). In principle, everyone should be paid more. However, this is not just about cash payments and benefits.

This also includes subsidies for the purchase of residential real estate, payments to civilian employees working in the military and the provision of medical services, he said.

Mr. Belousov expressed frustration when veterans participating in the military campaign in Ukraine who returned home on leave were `refused to be accepted by civilian medical facilities and sent to hospitals that are often overloaded.`

According to the new Russian Defense Minister, another problem is bureaucracy when soldiers seek to access the benefits they are entitled to.

Before being selected by President Putin to lead the Ministry of Defense, as deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, Mr. Belousov handled the development of main directions for Russia’s socio-economic development,

Explaining President Putin’s nomination, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said `integrating the military’s economy into the national economy is very important.`

Valentina Matvienko, head of the Russian Federation Council, called the president’s choice of Mr. Belousov as defense minister `a very lucky choice.`

Ms. Matvienko said Russia’s defense spending more than doubled when the Ukraine conflict broke out.

`Everything that the Ministry of Defense orders… must be in accordance with the capabilities of the economy… The Defense Minister must be in constant contact with other ministries to organize this process effectively,` Ms. Matvienko said,

Previously, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov affirmed that Mr. Belousov’s nomination would not change the `coordination system` between departments of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Mark Galeotti, director of London-based consulting firm Mayak Intelligence, said the job of Russia’s Defense Minister at a time of military conflict is to ensure the army has everything it needs.