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Putin Pledges To Strengthen Russia's Defense Potential

"Russia's defense potential remains an important element of the global security system and we will broaden the horizons of cooperation with foreign countries in the military and military-technical spheres, and not only with our traditional partners, but also with new partners," Russian President Vladimir Putin said. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) Feb 23, 2007
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that although Russia does not pose a threat to any other country, it will continue to build its defense potential to guarantee its own security. Putin addressed the participants of a meeting in the Kremlin on the eve of Defenders of the Fatherland Day, and praised the latest achievements in the development of the Russian Armed forces while pledging strong state support for the military.

"Russia is a peaceful country that respects its partners," Putin said. "We are not threatening anyone and we are not making any aggressive plans."

But he said the potential for conflict in today's world remains high, which demands the Russian leadership's attention to the issues of national security.

"That is why we can guarantee the security of Russia and its citizens only by strengthening the country's defense capability and building a modern army able to counter all potential threats," the Russian president said.

He said the modernization of the Russian Armed Forces is a top priority for the state and Russia will continue to supply its army with advanced weaponry and innovative technologies.

Russia's Defense Ministry said in January that this year's spending on the procurement of new military hardware is estimated at over 300 billion rubles ($11.3 billion), 20% higher than in 2006.

Putin said Russia will continue expanding its military-technical cooperation with foreign countries and seek new partners on the international arena.

"Russia's defense potential remains an important element of the global security system and we will broaden the horizons of cooperation with foreign countries in the military and military-technical spheres, and not only with our traditional partners, but also with new partners," the president said.

Russian arms exports reached $6.4 billion in 2006, but are expected to total $7.5 billion in 2007, first deputy prime minister, Sergei Ivanov, said on February 20.

India and China remain leading importers of Russian armaments, accounting for some 80% of the country's total weapons exports. However, Russia has been looking to expand its presence on arms markets in Latin America and the Middle East, and currently supplies weapons to more than 60 countries.

Putin also called for serious work to be conducted on raising the prestige of the army and providing appropriate social conditions for military personnel, including housing.

"Overall, there is still a lot to be done in the army and for the army, and those should not be temporary measures but solid and effective reforms planned decades ahead," the president said. "However, it is the only way to raise the prestige of the army and the status of military personnel."

Source: RIA Novosti

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Missile Defenses In Europe Would Shield Against Iran, Not Russia
Washington (AFNS) Feb 23, 2007
Basing missile defenses in Eastern Europe would protect the United States, deployed U.S. troops and Europe against Iran and other rogue nations, but would pose no threat to Russia's missile deterrent, the director of the Missile Defense Agency said here today. Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering briefed media members at the National Press Club here about plans to deploy missile defense capabilities to Poland and the Czech Republic.







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