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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Putin praises new radar station near St. Petersburg

RIA Novosti

11/08/2007 18:46 ST. PETERSBURG, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin said Saturday he was satisfied with the new Voronezh anti-missile radar station recently built near St. Petersburg.

Putin, who attended a session on the development of the aviation engines industry, said he hoped the Defense Ministry would ensure the unconditional implementation of all plans for the modernization of the Russian Army and Navy.

"This [radar] is the first step toward the implementation of the overall program, which is intended to be implemented by 2015," Putin said. "It is pleasant to note that it was achieved not only within the set timeframe, but also with the use of Russian intellectual and production means."

The radar station, located in Lekhtusi, near St. Petersburg, began operating December 22, 2006, and is capable of monitoring territory stretching from the North Pole to North Africa.

"This is what we, in effect, call the modern development of our Armed Forces - an innovative development of those Armed Forces. It is considerably less expensive, more effective and more reliable," he said.

He noted that former Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov devoted a great deal of time to the question of modernizing Russia's Armed Forces.

"I hope that the new military leadership will also do all it can to guarantee to realization of plans for the modernization of the Army and Navy," Putin said.

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