Russian president calls for strengthening military nuclear potential amid NATO build-up
Iran Press TV
Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:40PM
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has called for reinforcing the country's military nuclear potential in response to NATO's planned build-up near Russian borders.
"We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems," Putin said at a Defense Ministry meeting in the capital, Moscow, on Thursday.
The Russian president warned that the planned military build-up by the US-led Western military alliance near Russia's borders could change the balance of power in the region.
"We must carefully monitor any changes in the balance of power and in the political-military situation in the world, especially along Russian borders, and quickly adapt plans for neutralizing threats to our country," the Russian leader said.
Senior Russian officials have stressed that NATO's planned enhancement of its military presence in the Baltics and Poland, near Russia, will not go unanswered. They say NATO is using an alleged Russian threat to expand eastward.
The Russian ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, warned in late October that the planned military build-up near Russia's borders has no anti-terrorism value and is not bolstering Europe's security, but it rather creates additional "obvious risks."
NATO and the United States are also engaged in an active exploration of the Black Sea waters with multi-functional combat platforms.
NATO suspended ties with Moscow in April 2014, after Crimea Peninsula voted in a referendum to join Russian territory a month earlier.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Putin said Russia's military had successfully shown its capabilities against terrorist groups in Syria.
"The Syrian army received considerable support, thanks to which it carried out several successful operations against militants," he said.
Russia has been conducting airstrikes against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria at the request of the Damascus government since late September 2015.
Russia's its special operations contingents have been also operating on the ground in the Arab country.
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