Russia to upgrade its nuclear deterrent : Medvedev

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Moscow, Sep 27 (UNI) President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered to upgrade Russian nuclear deterrent and fully supply the Armed Forces with modern armaments by 2020.

''A guaranteed nuclear deterrent system for various military and political circumstances must be provided by 2020,'' Mr Medvedev told a meeting with commanders of military districts during the Centre-2008 military exercises at the Donguz testing range in the Orenburg Region.

''We must ensure air superiority, precision strikes at land and sea targets, timely deployment of troops. We are planning to launch large-scale production of warships, primarily nuclear submarines with cruise missiles and multi-purpose attack submarines,'' he said.

''We will also build an air and space defence network,'' he added.

Mr Medvedev asked the military commanders to prepare a plan for implementing the upgrade programmes by December this year.

He said Russia would make the modernisation of its nuclear deterrent and Armed Forces a priority in light of the recent military conflict with Georgia.

Moscow launched a five-day military operation ''to force Georgia to peace'' in response to an attack by Georgian forces on South Ossetia on August 8.

Russia is about to adopt a new military doctrine which aims to transform the Armed Forces into a mobile and effective military force. Their structures would be ''optimised'' through the use of combined arms units performing similar tasks.

Russia's defence budget is believed to be around 25 times less than that of the US, but the country's military expenditure has been steadily growing in the past few years.

Russia's Defence Ministry has said it would spend around 40 billion dollars of federal budget funds in 2008, 20 per cent more than in 2007, and in 2008-10 military spending would account for 15.5-16 per cent of total federal budget spending.

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