He said that Russia must modernise its nuclear defences within eight years, including the creation of a “system of air and space defence”.
The announcement puts Russia in a new arms race with the United States, which has infuriated the Kremlin by seeking to establish an anti-missile shield in eastern Europe. The US argues that the shield is aimed at rogue states such as Iran, but Russia is convinced that its own security is threatened.
Mr Medvedev told military commanders that “all combat formations must be upgraded to the permanent readiness category” by 2020. He added that Russia would begin “mass production of warships, primarily nuclear cruisers carrying cruise missiles and multi-purpose submarines”.
“A guaranteed nuclear deterrent system for various military and political circumstances must be provided by 2020,” he said after attending military exercises in the southern Urals region of Orenburg.
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