Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu watches honor guards passing by during a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the 71st anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin walls in Moscow May 9, 2016. Reuters

Despite possessing one of the world’s two largest nuclear weapons arsenals, Russia’s Defense Minister said his country has turned focus to more conventional weapons while also keeping the nuclear deterrent as a top priority, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

"The development of strategic nuclear forces will remain an unconditional priority," Sergei Shoigu said while speaking at a conference focus on security issues according to Russian news agencies. "Russian nuclear weapons ensure the guaranteed deterrence of aggression by any foreign power.”

But Shoigu also added that "the role of nuclear weapons in deterring a potential aggressor will diminish, primarily thanks to the development of precision weapons."

Shoigu pointed to Russia’s Kalibr and long-range cruise missiles as well as the short-range Iskander missiles as key “non-nuclear deterrents,” according to the report. However, each can also carry a nuclear warhead.

The comments come several months after Russia’s nuclear arsenal, even over the United States, led the world in 2016. Russia had a total of 7,300 nuclear weapons compared to the U.S.’s stockpile of 6,970, totals that pale in comparison to the height of the Cold War when the U.S. reached a peak of 31,255 nuclear warheads, according to USA Today. France’s 300, China’s 260 and the United Kingdom’s 215 weapons rounded out the top five.

Still, much of Russia and the U.S.’s total weapons have been retired. Arms Control Association’s data showed that 2,510 Russia warheads were retired, meaning they are awaiting dismantlement, while the U.S. had retired 2,800.

The dwindling numbers are credited to former President Barack Obama’s treaty with Russia in 2010 called New Start, which called for each country heavily reduce their nuclear stockpiles over a seven-year period ending in 2018.

Shoigu, who has held his current top post since 2012, also alluded to a previously unknown deal between Moscow and China that would send anti-ship missiles to Beijing, and also mentioned other deals involving Su-35 fighters and S-400 air defense missiles. In November, the countries announced the first four fighter jets would be delivered at the end of 2016 as part of a $2 billion deal for 24 total jets over three years, Financial Times reported.