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17 Feb, 2010 08:02

Putin sets priorities for military reform

Chief attention will be given to nuclear nonproliferation and space and air defense in the armed forces reform, said Vladimir Putin on Tuesday while meeting ministers to discuss the future of Russia's defense.

The Russian Prime Minister also talked about the necessity of renovating communication facilities and completing the construction of the new T-50 stealth fighter jet, adding that 70% of army equipment must be modernized by 2020 in line with the current military reform.

Putin also stressed the importance of careful budgeting to avoid overspending and added that in the process of placing orders, preference will be given to the factories that are most efficient in terms of production.

The new military doctrine also says Russia reserves the right to launch preemptive nuclear strikes, because this will be the main threat in the next decade.

Viktor Mizin, a political analyst from Moscow State University of International Relations, believes the reform is very timely.

“I think it’s quite logical that one of the main tasks is strengthening Russian nuclear deterrent capability, especially in the situation when after the demise of the Soviet Union, Russian conventional forces have considerably deteriorated. They need new equipment and probably a new ideology,” Mizin told RT.

However, Mizin doubts that Russia’s emphasis on nuclear deterrents and space and air defense is linked to the situation in Iran and the missiles situated next to the Russian border.

“The main threat for Russia’s military is still NATO, and certain preparations of the American military. Nuclear deterrents are a response to American plans for the global ABM plants,” Mizin said.