The Russian president says Moscow will continue its rigorous military upgrade, which includes its nuclear forces, amid escalating tensions with the West over the crisis in neighboring Ukraine.
Russia’s nuclear forces are a “major factor in maintaining global balance,” Vladimir Putin said while addressing a meeting of the country’s top military brass on Friday, adding that nuclear forces “effectively preclude the possibility of large-scale aggression against Russia.”
The Russian military is expected to receive 50 new intercontinental ballistic missiles, Putin further announced.
The significant military modernization in Russia is being made despite the country’s financial crisis. The recent collapse of the Russian currency, the ruble, has raised concerns that inflation could increase, followed by a banking crisis.
Tensions between Russia and the West heightened in March following the integration of Ukraine’s then autonomous region of Crimea into the Russian Federation.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Russian president also thanked “the military leadership and the military personnel for their accurate, careful and balanced action, their courage and professionalism during the event in Crimea.”
Relations were strained further between the Kremlin and the West after the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April to silence pro-Russia protests in the mainly Russian-speaking regions in eastern Ukraine.
The United States and the European Union accuse Russia of destabilizing Ukraine and have imposed a series of sanctions against Russian and pro-Moscow activists. The Kremlin, however, rejects the allegation.
By Press TV
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