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Russia Working on Secret Weapons — Defense Minister

MosNews | May 4, 2005

Russia is working to create weapons that no other country possesses, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily.

“Many countries are working on…modern weapons systems, including us. Naturally, not a single partner or ally of ours knows anything about it and nor will they until they are tested,” he told the paper.

Ivanov said that modern Russia does not need the kind of army that the Soviet Union used to have. “We do not want and we will not be a scarecrow for the whole world,” he stressed.

In recent years Russia’s army has been reduced from more than three million servicemen to 1.2 million, and the military forces should be developed not by increasing the number of soldiers but by high-tech weapons, the minister said.

Russia yields to no one with regards to nuclear weapons, Ivanov believes. He explained that Moscow is not an aggressor as it was portrayed during the Cold War. However, although the possibility of a nuclear war is minimal, to ensure Russia’s security the development of nuclear weapons will not be halted, he stated.

He said that power is respected by everyone, and Russia has to be a powerful military state relative to its size. “Some say 200,000 (servicemen) would be enough, like in European countries. But let’s look at a map and compare their territory and their neighbors with ours. This is a geopolitical answer,” the minister said.

In Ivanov’s opinion, the armed forces should be modified depending on the kind of threats the world faces. After the end of the Cold War “the abruptness factor has increased many times in size”, and no one knows where the next local religious or ethnic conflict will arise, he said.


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