Russia rules out cuts to nuclear budget

May 7th, 2009 - 6:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, May 7 (RIA Novosti) Russia does not plan to cut budget spending on the development of the country’s nuclear weapons despite the ongoing economic crisis, the defence minister said.
The government has reviewed overall defence expenditure under the 2009-2011 federal budget, cutting spending on defence programmes by 5.8 billion rubles ($177 million) from 1.5 trillion rubles ($46 billion).

“Everything that relates to the nuclear deterrent, including research and development, prototypes, and especially modernisation and existing procurement orders - all of that is a priority and will remain untouched,” Anatoly Serdyukov told the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta in an interview published Thursday.

According to Serdyukov, Russia will focus on the procurement and development of Topol-M mobile ballistic missile systems, the RS-24 CBMs with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) warheads, the sea-based Bulava ballistic missiles, and the Borey class nuclear-powered strategic submarines.

President Dmitry Medvedev said last year that Russia would make the modernisation of its nuclear deterrent and Armed Forces a priority in light of the recent military conflict with Georgia.

“A guaranteed nuclear deterrent system for various military and political circumstances must be provided by 2020,” Medvedev said.

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