Russia will increase its nuclear arsenal with more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to President Vladimir Putin during the opening ceremony of the Army-2015, an international military-technical forum in Kubinka, Moscow region.
According to Putin, the intercontinental ballistic missiles will be delivered to the country’s strategic forces this year.
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“This year, our nuclear forces are going to get more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of penetrating all existing, even the most advanced missile defenses,” said Putin.
Russia will focus on massive military rearmament
Putin emphasized that Russia will continue its focus on its massive rearmament program and modernization of its defense industry.
According to Putin, Russia’s defense industry should set the bar for many technological and production parameters. It should also remain the driving force for the development of innovative technology including a dual purpose and civilian technology primarily in the energy, engineering, communications and other sectors.
Putin also stated that Russia’s arms and military equipment remain in great demand on the global arms market. According to him, the country’s arms order portfolio is filled over the coming years.
Putin added that the companies in Russia could provide a range of services from supplying arms and equipment to post-warranty maintenance, servicing, and personnel training. The country is also open to collaborating and launching innovative projects.
Furthermore, Putin is confident that the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center will serve as the platform for Russia to demonstrate its latest arms and equipment. Russia displayed its different military products including small arms, armored tanks, combat robots and control systems at the exhibition center.
The Army-2015 international military-technical forum was held at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center.
A recent report indicated that Pres. Putin is using secret funds to build up Russia’s military. Last year alone, Russia spent $84 billion on defense.
The Gaidar Institute, an independent think tank in Moscow estimated that the “black” part of the federal budget of Russia account 21% or $60 billion of the total budget of the country. The amount doubled since 2010.
Russia nuclear arsenal
A related report from BBC indicated that the military stockpile of Russia is composed of approximately 4,500 nuclear warheads including 1,800 units that are strategically deployed on missile and bomber bases.
Russia has additional 700 strategic warheads and approximately 2,700 non-strategic warheads in storage. The country has a large number of retired, but still intact warheads awaiting disarmament (possibly 3,500).
The numbers are based on estimates from Federation of American Scientists
NATO is provoking Russia into arms race
Meanwhile, Anatoly Antonov, the Deputy Defense Minister of Russia commented that NATO is provoking Russia into an arms race. His statement was in response to the proposal of the United States to increase military presence in Eastern Europe.
Antonov said, “A few days ago, reports started to turn up about certain [American] missiles put in a certain location and about certain ammunition depots in Eastern European countries and the Baltic. It looks like our colleagues from NATO member states are pushing us into an arms race.”
The Ukraine crisis and Russia’s annexation of Crimea ignited tensions in Eastern Europe. The situation prompted NATO to conduct massive military drills in Europe amid Russia’s increasing military aggression. The situation also prompted NATO to develop new military plans.
The Pentagon is planning to station battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and other heavy weapons—enough to equip as much as 5,000 soldiers in NATO member states in Eastern Europe.
It would be the first time for the United States since the end of the Cold War to station heavy military equipment in the newer member states of NATO in Eastern Europe if its proposal is approved. It would send a clear message to Putin that the United States would defend NATO members that are nearest to Russia’s border.
“The U.S. military continues to review the best location to store these materials in consultation with our allies. At this time, we have made no decision about if or when to move to this equipment,” said Col. Steven H. Warren, a spokesman for the Pentagon.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and the White House needs to approve the proposal of the Pentagon.
James G. Stavridis, a retired admiral and the former supreme allied commander of NATO commented that the proposal of the United States was a “very meaningful shift in policy.” He added, “It provides a reasonable level of reassurance to jittery allies, although nothing is as good as troops stationed full-time on the ground, of course.”