Russia; Military Rearmament

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has announced that Russia will increase military spending to $140 billion before 2010, as part of a comprehensive expansion of the country’s military. Medvedev says that the move is planned in order to “increase the combat readiness of [Russia’s] forces, first of all our strategic nuclear forces,”.

Analysts have questioned Russia’s ability to increase military spending, due to the falling price of oil, which hit $40 a barrel recently. Medvedev, in the first speech delivered to the defense ministry as its Supreme Commander, cited the need for replacements of and modifications to the outdated military machinery recently used in Georgia.

Though no reaction from the U.S. has been reported yet, it is speculated that the decision to increase armament in Russia was likely spurred on by the placement of a controversial missile defense system close to Russia. Since the Obama administration took power on January 2001, U.S.-Russian relations have improved, and are looking for a sound solution to the previously divisive issue of armament.

The Russian Security Council is currently outlining a new security doctrine, which will reflect recent international circumstances, and be effective until 2020. The Council, Medvedev said, will approve the doctrine shortly.

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