Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Friday that the government will work for the reinforcement of the country’s military, with more focus on the rearmament of nuclear deterrence forces, so that the Western powers cannot outclass Russia in military capabilities.
Citing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comment in December about furthering the development of the country’s armed forces, Defense Ministry Sergey Shoigu said that Russia is not interested in an arms race, but it is ready to ensure defense capacity in the current military and political situation. Tensions between Russia and the West have significantly increased over the past few months due to the conflict in the eastern Ukraine. Some observers even foresee the possibility of a military confrontation between Moscow and the West.
“Assigned by the Russian President [the] task, regarding to prevention of the military superiority over the Russian Federation, will be definitely performed,” Shoigu said in a statement. “To fulfill this task, the successful execution of national armament program is supposed to secure the Armed Forces re-equipment and rearmament on the designated rate of 70-100 percent achievement to 2020.”
Shoigu also stated that the rearmament of the country’s strategic nuclear missile forces will be an absolute priority for the government.
“To these ends, main effort should be focused on a higher quality of strategic nuclear forces, on reinforcing the military staff and capabilities of the army and the fleet, and on forming Aerospace Forces, a new arm of military force,” Russian news agency Tass quoted Shoigu as saying during a board meeting of the Defense Ministry on Friday.
According to Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff, since the U.S. and its NATO allies are developing new armaments to carry out assaults throughout enemy territory, Russia must work on the development of its military measures to avoid being outclassed by them.
Gerasimov also reiterated that strategic nuclear forces’ quality increase is the top priority of the Russian armed forces development, According to him, the military is expected to put into service 50 intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2015.
Friday’s announcement came after Russia's deputy prime minister, Dmitry Ragozin claimed earlier this week that the U.S. “cannot stop” the Russian ballistic nuclear missiles.
“This year four Strategic Missile Forces regiments, equipped with modern missile complexes, are planned to take up the combat duty,” Gerasimov said in a statement. “The Navy's constant readiness troops will be equipped with Vladimir Monomakh and Alexander Nevsky strategic underwater cruisers. The Air Force long-distance aviation aircraft inventory is supposed to be operable by 80 percent.”