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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Putin Speaks for Investment in Defense

RIA Novosti

02:29 20/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 20 (RIA Novosti) - Substantial investment in Russia’s defense sector, in particular, the armaments program, will be positive for the country’s economy, Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin said.

“Sometimes they say the revival of the defense industry is a yoke for the economy, an extremely heavy burden that ruined the Soviet Union,” Putin wrote in a new article for the Rossiiskaya Gazeta government daily.

“I am convinced that is a profound mistake,” he said in the article dedicated to Russia’s national security.

Putin said he believes that the renewal of the defense industry will become “a locomotive that will pull the development of various industries: metallurgy, mechanical engineering, the chemical and radio-electronic industries, the entire IT and telecommunications range.”

The premier said active investment in defense will provide enterprises of these branches with “resources for technological base renewal,” adding that the task is to multiply Russia’s economic power, increasing its defense capability in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty, respect from other countries and peace.

This is Putin’s sixth article outlining the points of his election program in Russian media. The previous articles focused on general and economic issues, ethnic problems, democratic development and social policy.

Putin, the frontrunner in this year's election campaign, served two terms as Russia’s president between 2000 and 2008, but the Constitution barred him from standing for a third consecutive term. He became prime minister after his handpicked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, was elected president.

Russia will hold presidential elections on March 4.

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