Sep 26, 2008

Russia to upgrade nuclear systems

BBC News

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has announced plans to build a "guaranteed nuclear deterrent system", to be in place by 2020.

He said he wanted military chiefs to submit plans by December.

He called for a programme to build new nuclear submarines as well as "a system of aerospace defence".

The announcement comes just weeks after Russia accused the US of starting a new arms race by siting part of its missile defence shield in Poland.

"We must guarantee nuclear deterrence under various political and military conditions by 2020," Mr Medvedev told military commanders.

He said it was necessary to build "new types of armaments" and to "achieve dominance in airspace", according to quotes carried by the Itar-Tass news agency.

"We plan to start serial production of warships, primarily nuclear-powered submarines carrying cruise missiles and multifunctional submarines," Mr Medvedev said.

"We will develop an aerospace defence system, as well," he added.

Russia's move would not change the balance of power, said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

She told Reuters: "The balance of power in terms of nuclear deterrence is not going to be affected by those measures."

She said the US nuclear deterrent was "capable" and "robust".

Moscow has repeatedly criticised the US for going ahead with plans for a missile defence shield, using rockets based in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic, saying it destabilises the strategic balance and builds "a ring of steel" around Russia.

Russia warned it would be "forced to react".

This, it seems, is Russia is showing its own determination to bolster its nuclear deterrent, says the BBC's defence correspondent, Caroline Wyatt.


Anonymous said...

Russia currently spends about $35 B on their defense. We spend almost $700 B. They've got a long way to go to be in the same league as the US.

Anonymous said...


Now we can start SDI again!

Anonymous said...

It would seem that Russia can't afford 35B (if that's the amount) and the US can't afford 700B (if that's the amount, apparently an amount similar to what the US owes the Germans and Chinese and others for commercial paper) for defense (aka offense).

Anonymous said...

Given the flight of foreign capital from Russia and the collapse of the Russian stock market, Medvedev's claims look as credible as Ahmadinejad's.

Anonymous said...

Russia doesn't need to spend money boosting their defenses. They own the natural gas pipelines that feed about 80% of the gas used to power and heat Europe. Therefore, they already have an strangle-hold on the Western world.

This is truly a "New World Order" in which we live, just not the one in which Bush-I thought we had achieved back in the early 90's.