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1st Jun 2020

NATO prompts Russian nuclear rethink

  • VLADIMIR PUTIN - the Russian President warned that Russia would deploy its weapons if NATO continued its "offensive military doctrine" (Photo: NATO)

Russia has warned that it will drastically rethink its nuclear strategy, if NATO continues what it calls its "aggressive tendency", reports the Financial Times Deutschland.

A strategy document published yesterday by the Russian defence department said that the former Superpower would be forced to reconsider its military restructuring if NATO continues to exist as "a military alliance with an offensive military doctrine".

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This will also affect Russia's nuclear strategy. In a statement reminiscent of the Cold War, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that a new generation of nuclear weapons - with multiple warheads and long-range capabilities - would replace Russia's old stock. However, Mr Putin gave no timeframe for the deployment of these missiles.

\"Terrible\" missiles

According to the FTD, Mr Putin said, "These are ...terrible missiles, of which we have dozens with several hundred warheads". These weapons are even now ready for use.

President Putin also announced that there would be no further reduction in the number of Russian troops - currently 1.6 million. The Red Army has halved since 1992.

Representatives from the Russian military warned against the expansion of NATO, saying that it was an attempt by the US to exert influence in former Soviet states. Despite this, defence minister Sergej Iwanow praised the improved state of Russian-US relations.

The threatening tone from the Kremlin will be a first test for the new Secretary-General of NATO, Dutchman Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. Mr de Hoop Scheffer will take over from Lord Robertson on 1 January 2004.

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