Russia determined to strengthen its nuclear arsenal

Russia must keep a potential aggressor at arm's length

The Russian army will be equipped with up-to-date nuclear systems that have no analogues anywhere in the world, President Putin stated at a recent session of Defense Ministry officials. “Rearming the army, we are being guided by increasing financial and economic opportunities,” the head of state said.

Russian Armed Forces will receive four strategic missiles, nine spacecrafts and five carrier-rockets in 2005, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said. Two rocket launchers Iskander-M, 17 T-90 tanks and 92 BTR-80 armored vehicles will be added to the arsenal of the land troops. Two new vessels will arrive for the Russian Navy. The Air Force will have two strategic bombers TU-160, seven modernized pursuit planes Su27CM, and high-precision air-to-surface missiles.

President Putin bewildered everyone with the statement about the new kind of nuclear weapons that Russia will have in its arsenal. One may presume that Putin was talking about the systems, which would be capable of defeating the American ABM defense. The Russian president deliberately emphasized the need to work on the toughening of the nuclear and missile protection. “Once we distract attention from the problem, we will have tens of other threats immediately,” Putin said.

The nuclear arsenal is a perfect guarantee to prevent a sea, air or any other attack against Russia. Russia must keep a potential aggressor at arm's length. However, nuclear arms cannot guarantee a protection against terrorist acts, or any other subversive activities.

“The structure of the Russian army does not comply with any current or future threats,” army observer Alexander Golts told the Echo of Moscow radio station.
”International terrorism is believed to be the biggest threat. Russian Armed Forces, however, are not prepared to respond to terrorist groups' threats. Russia gives high priority to nuclear arms, but it would be strange to wage war on terrorists with nuclear weapons,” Golts said. The observer added that it would be highly inadequate to use nuclear weapons against the terrorist threat in the south of Russia.

”It is possible to respond to this threat, if Russia sets its southern units on constant alert. We have such units now, but 60 percent of them are not ready to battle. On the one hand, the authorities proclaim various threats, but on the other hand, the structure of the Russian Armed Forces is limited to what is known as the Soviet experience,” concluded the observer.

Based on the materials of the Russian media

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Author`s name Olga Savka