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Russia lessening its reliance on nuclear weapons

Russia to rely less on nuclear weapons as their conventional strength rapidly increases, Business Insider, Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press, 21 Feb 17,  MOSCOW (AP) — Russia will continue to see the development of its nuclear forces as a top priority, but the military will rely increasingly on conventional weapons to deter any aggression, the Russian Defense Minister said Tuesday.

Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday that weapons such as the long-range Kalibr cruise missiles carried by navy ships, long-range cruise missiles carried by Russian strategic bombers and the land-based short-range Iskander missiles will play an increasingly important role as a non-nuclear deterrent. Those missiles can carry nuclear or conventional warheads.

Shoigu pointed to the new missiles’ debut in the Syrian conflict, saying they have proven themselves well.

“The development of strategic nuclear forces will remain an unconditional priority,” Shoigu said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies. “Russian nuclear weapons ensure the guaranteed deterrence of aggression by any foreign power.”

At the same time, he added, “the role of nuclear weapons in deterring a potential aggressor will diminish, primarily thanks to the development of precision weapons.”

Until recently, Russia lacked long-range cruise missiles with conventional warheads similar to those in the U.S. inventory.

The post-Soviet economic meltdown left the Russian armed forces in disarray, but the Kremlin has beefed up the military’s conventional forces in recent years amid tensions with the West……http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-russia-to-rely-increasingly-on-non-nuclear-deterrent-2017-2?IR=T

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February 22, 2017 - Posted by | Russia, weapons and war

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