Thursday, February 18, 2010
Russia must boost space defenses: Putin
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says Moscow must improve its space defenses and modernize its nuclear arsenal by 2020.
"In accordance with the plan for the development and reconfiguration of the armed forces, special attention, of course, will be paid to nuclear deterrent forces, space and air defenses," he said.
He added that the Kremlin would finance the plans but guard against "ineffective expenses."
Putin made the remarks late Tuesday at a meeting devoted to implementing an ambitious Kremlin plan to rearm Russia's military between 2011 and 2020, a statement on the government's website said.
Putin also said the military should have high-tech communications equipment and that Russia should finish building a fifth-generation fighter jet.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has also spoken of the necessity of modernized military forces.
In a televised interview last December, Medvedev said the country's military hardware was obsolete and would be modernized within the next 10 years.
Military reform was fueled by Russia's brief conflict with Georgia in August 2008, which was sparked Tbilisi's attack on independence-seeking Republic of South Ossetia.