Russia’s President Dimitry Medvedev has announced large scale re-armament of conventional and nuclear forces from 2011 onwards.
He said the modernisation would be possible despite the current economic crisis, and was needed. “There are threats from local crises and international terrorism, and attempts to broaden military infrastructure of NATO near the Russian border do not stop”. While Medvedev says he is keen to warm relations with the new US administration, President Obama’s conciliatory tone needs to be backed by actions. The Russians are worried about offers of NATO membership to Ukraine and Georgia, and the anti-missile shield the US wants to deploy in Poland and the Czech republic. The modernisation would begin with the nuclear strikeforce, followed by the army and navy with the object, said Medvevev, of ensuring every combat unit could be in a state of permanent readiness.