Russian President Vladimir Putin is talking tough on nuclear weapons and missile defenses, calling for a strengthening in Russia’s nuclear potential.
“We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems,” Putin said during a defense ministry meeting Thursday, according to Agence France‑Presse.
“We must carefully monitor any changes in the balance of power and in the political-military situation in the world, especially along Russian borders, and quickly adapt plans for neutralizing threats to our country,” he added.
Putin also told military chiefs that “We are now stronger than any potential aggressor,” the Daily Mail noted.
The comments come amid another Nobel Peace Prize nomination for Putin.
Fabien Baussart, president of the French Centre for Political and International Relations (CFPA), said he nominated the Russian president because he believes he’s the only world leader who’s working hard to defeat ISIS.
During Putin’s Thursday statement, he alluded to the Russian military’s success in Syria.
“The Syrian army received considerable support, thanks to which it carried out several successful operations against militants,” Putin said, according to the Daily Mail.
Russia’s military campaign in Syria has been in effect since September 2015, including an air campaign and ground operations.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the military has “tested 162 types of modern armaments” during the campaign, the Daily Mail reported.
“They have shown to be highly effective,” he said.
Since the military campaign in Syria began, Russia has flown 18,800 sorties in Syria, “destroying 775 training camps, 405 sites where weapons were being made and killing 35,000 fighters,” the Daily Mail reported.
Putin’s remarks also come at a time where he’s said communication between Russia and the U.S. has been cut entirely, hinting at a new Cold War, the Daily Star noted.
There’s also been a growing tension between NATO and Russia, which is another issue that Putin touched on, encouraging the military to ”carry on with teamwork and fulfill your duty in a responsible manner,” as soldiers deploy into Eastern Europe.
“We still lack many things and we have to do much to take nuclear weapons to a higher level, enhance the capabilities of the Navy and the Aerospace Force as well as improve intelligence and communications systems,” Putin said, according to the Daily Star.
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