Russia?s defence minister has an ambitious plan for building new intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines, possibly aircraft carriers, and increase combat readiness. That seems very useful and in time after Pentagon new chief Robert Gates said in his special report for Congress, "We don`t know what`s going to develop in places like Russia and China, in North Korea, in Iran and elsewhere," specifying the United States needs both special troops to fight terrorists and ground troops capable of fighting big regular armies.
Sergei Ivanov?s statements appeared aimed at raising his profile at home ahead of the 2008 election in which he is widely seen as a potential contender to succeed President Vladimir Putin. But they also seemed to reflect a growing chill in Russian-US relations and the Kremlin?s concern about US missile defence plans. Robert Gates`s words can be interpreted as if cold war between Russia and USA is on its high and could any time turn into a very hot war.
Ivanov told parliament the military would get 17 new ballistic missiles this year - a sharp increase over the average of four deployed annually in recent years. The purchases are part of a modernization program for 2007 to 2015 worth about $190 billion.
The plan envisages the deployment of 34 new silo-based Topol-M missiles, as well as an additional 50 such missiles mounted on mobile launchers by 2015; Russia so far has deployed more than 40 silo-based Topol-Ms.
Putin and other officials have described the Topol-M as a bulwark of Russia?s nuclear might for years to come, and said it can penetrate any prospective missile defences. Last week, Putin dismissed US assertions that missile defence sites Washington hopes to establish in Poland and the Czech Republic were intended to counter threats from Iran, and said Russia would respond by developing more efficient weapons systems, Daily Times reports.
sections: Politics, Region News
regions: Far East region, Volga region, North-West region, Siberian region, Ural region, Central region, Southern region