Kremlin will get dozens of new missiles, able to penetrate advanced defense systems, Russian president Vladimir Putin has said. A defense official has accused NATO of pushing Russia towards an arms race.
Russia intends to beef up its nuclear arsenal in 2015, Putin said Tuesday, speaking at a military arms fair aimed to show off latest Russian military technology.
"More than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems will be added to the make-up of the nuclear arsenal this year," he said in at the arms show in Alabino, close to Moscow.
Putin has also said that Russia will soon start testing new long-range radar systems, which are to "monitor the western strategic direction."
In addition to upgrading its nuclear arsenal, the Russian army will start using new types of tanks and armored vehicles, which were first shown to the public during the Victory Day parade in Moscow last month. The vehicles "have no analogues in the world when it comes to combat capabilities," according to the Russian president.
A new 'arms race'
Tensions between Moscow and the Western powers, primarily the US, have been high ever since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis in 2014. In addition to exchanging economic sanctions, both sides have been holding large military maneuvers, reminiscent of the Cold War period.
"The feeling is that our colleagues from NATO countries are pushing us into an arms race," RIA news agency quoted Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov as saying on the sidelines of the arms fair.
The US considers deploying heavy military equipment, including tanks, in several countries in Eastern Europe and Baltic region, according to media reports during the weekend. The move is aimed to deter Russian aggression, according to a New York Times article.
Kremlin denounced such plans, warning that such move could stir dangerous instability in Europe.
"The United States is inciting tensions and carefully nurturing their European allies' anti-Russian phobias in order to use the current difficult situation for further expanding its military presence and influence in Europe," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a comment late Monday.
"We hope that reason will prevail and it will be possible to save the situation in Europe from sliding toward a military standoff which could entail dangerous consequences," it added.
dj/rc(dpa, Reuters, AP, Interfax)