MOSCOW, December 12 (RIA Novosti) – President Vladimir Putin warned Thursday against foreign powers seeking to secure a military advantage over Russia and said any attempts to destroy the existing global strategic balance would be futile.
Speaking in his annual State of the Nation address, Putin dismissed arguments that the proposed European missile shield is defensive only and described it as having a strategically offensive potential.
Russia has bristled in recent years at what it perceives as attempts by Western nations to undermine its national defense strategy and has sounded an increasingly bellicose note in resisting that trend.
Putin said that Russia is closely monitoring the development by some countries of new, fast-strike weapon platforms capable of hitting high-priority targets around the globe.
“The increase by foreign countries of their strategic, high-precision non-nuclear systems potential and boosting missile defense possibilities could ruin earlier reached agreements on nuclear arms control and reduction, and lead to the disruption of the so-called strategic balance,” Putin said.
“No one should have illusions over a possibility of taking military advantage over Russia,” he said. “We will never allow this.”
Putin said Russia’s military has sufficient potential to respond to all challenges and ensure national security.
He said Russia had achieved significant progress in the development of its nuclear deterrent and will continue strengthening its nuclear triad – which comprises strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles – while focusing on the development of high-precision weaponry.
Russia will also create a global reconnaissance network, which will ensure fast and reliable real-time data exchange within the armed forces, Putin said.
He said the government had allocated 23 trillion rubles ($702 billion) on the development of the armed forces and the overhaul of the defense industry until 2020.
The ambitious rearmament program through 2020 will see the share of modern weaponry in the armed forces reach 30 percent by 2015 and 70 percent by 2020.
Commenting on Putin’s address, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Thursday that Russia had already taken steps to make its nuclear deterrent “invulnerable” but that, unlike the Soviet Union, it would not be drawn into an arms race.
“All our actions will be asymmetrical. They will be based on the concept of defensive sufficiency,” Rogozin said.