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'Russia testing secret weapons'
May 04, 2005 15:06 IST
"Many countries are working over it, including ourselves, developing the modern weapon systems. Of course, none of our partners or allies are aware of this and would not know till it is tested," Ivanov told the Government daily Rossiskaya Gazeta in an interview.
Ivanov said that in comparison with the era of Cold War the factor of unpredictability has 'grown several times', including the chances of local religious and ethnic conflicts.
Russia would remain militarily 'strong' thanks to new technology and modern weapons, and not the number of soldiers. "With their help we can feel secure to a significant degree," he said.
While the chances of a nuclear showdown were minimal at this juncture, Russia's 'nuclear component' was not inferior to any one in the world, he said.
"Although in number of (nuclear) weapons we may be behind the US, but it is the quality, which matters in this case, as well as guaranteed capability of this weapon to justify itself," he said.
'Living in the real world,' Russia is not going to give up the development and improvement of its nuclear forces, he added.
Noting that the armed forces had to adapt to changes in the modern world and contemporary threats, he said in post-Soviet era, the Russian armed forces has shrunk from 3.3 million men to 1.2 million. "Further cuts would jeopardise national security," he said.
"Russia simply does not need the army the Soviet Union had. We don't want and will not be a scarecrow for the whole world. Army with enormous might, capable of reaching the English Channel or destroying the whole world. We don't need this," Ivanov said.
He, however, said the reality was that the world honours force and respects strong nations.
"I mean strong in the good sense - not aggressive, but mighty. Militarily, Russia remains and is doomed to be a strong nation, because we are the biggest country in the world from the point of view of territory spread over 10 time zones," Ivanov said.
Russia is also reforming its conventional forces, which were in a miserable shape at the start of Chechnya campaign, he added.