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Russian army ensures nuclear containment at adequate level.
January 14, 2003

The main threat to Russia's security now stems from terrorist gangs, operating in the North Caucasus and in Central Asia, said Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov, speaking in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper, published on Tuesday.

In the minister's opinion, talk on main military threats will be incomplete without mentioning the U. S. withdrawal from the 1972 ABM Treaty as well as the continued process of NATO expansion. Ivanov emphasized at the same time that the new format of interstate relations within the Russia-NATO Council now largely contributes to strengthening security and stability in the world. Developing this cooperation, Russia is interested to have more detailed information on aims and tasks of the alliance's expansion and to participate actively in political decisions taken by NATO.

Speaking of adequacy of the Russian military organisation to the present threats, the minister stated that the country's Armed Forces ensure guaranteed solution of tasks of nuclear containment at an adequate level. According to Ivanov's estimates, military forces of general designation are capable of fulfilling the tasks on localizing and quashing possible military conflicts at the main strategic directions.

At the same time, the threat of international terrorism demands definite reorientation of defensive efforts to ward off and counter it.

The Russian Defence Ministry sees as its priority task for 2003 preparations for a transition of part of the Armed Forces, above all formations and units which are on permanent alert, to manning on a contractual basis.

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