12:14 15.02.2012

Russia ready to use nuclear weapons in case of threat to its integrity

The Russian Armed Forces are ready to retaliate to any threat to the country's security, including by using nuclear weapons, Chief of the Russian Army General Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov said on Wednesday.

"If there is a threat to the integrity of the Russian Federation, we are entitled to use nuclear weapons. In that case, we will," Makarov said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

The General Staff sees the nuclear element of the Armed Forces as the basis for strategic stability, he said.

"As regards our nuclear forces, we invest the allocated funding up to the last kopek. We are working very seriously to upgrade our nuclear potential," Makarov said.

In particular, the Russian Defense Ministry is buying new-generation nuclear underwater missile carriers, planning to renew and upgrade its strategic bombers, and introducing new missile systems, including Yars, in the service of the Russian Strategic Missile Troops, he said.

Concurrently, efforts are being made to develop general-purpose forces, Makarov said. "Unfortunately, we are facing threats from a number of unstable states, where no nuclear weapons but well-trained, strong and mobile Armed Forces are required to resolve any conflict situation," Makarov said.

"[Russia] is not going to fight against the entire NATO," he said. "We do not have such goals and objectives," the chief of the General Staff said.

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