Russia to modernise armed forces as NATO expands: MedvedevMarch 17th, 2009 - 6:57 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, March 17 (RIA Novosti) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Tuesday said a comprehensive re-armament of the country’s armed forces would begin soon as NATO is continuing its expansion towards the Russian borders.
“There are attempts to continue broadening the military infrastructure of the North Atlantic alliance near our borders,” Medvedev said during a defence ministry meeting here.
“An analysis of the military and political situation in the world shows that in a number of regions serious potential for conflict remains,” he said, adding that the situation “calls for a thorough modernisation of the Russian armed forces, primarily its strategic nuclear forces”.
“Last year we equipped a number of military units with new weaponry, and we will start large-scale rearmament of the armed forces in 2011,” Medvedev announced.
“They must be able to accomplish all tasks aimed at ensuring Russia’s military security,” he said.
“This process will involve the enhancement of combat readiness of all military units.”
The president also said that the Russian Security Council would soon endorse a national security strategy for the period up to 2020.
“Long-term plans in the defence sphere should be based on a Russian national security strategy for the period up to 2020, which the Security Council should endorse in the near future,” he said.
The president announced last year that Russia would make the modernisation of its nuclear deterrent and armed forces a priority in light of the military conflict with Georgia in August.
Russia has also described plans to grant NATO membership to Ukraine and Georgia and to deploy a US missile shield in Eastern Europe as threat to its national security.
Russia’s military expenditure has been steadily growing recently, and the country reportedly plans to increase the current defence budget of $40 billion by 50 percent in the next three years.
Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Tuesday that the share of modern weaponry in the Russian Armed Forces would reach 30 percent by 2015, and would total 70 percent by 2020.
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