Russia is not threatening anyone and will always prefer peaceful solutions to international conflicts, President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that military forces are still important as a guarantee of national sovereignty.

“We are not threatening anyone and we seek to resolve all conflict situations through political means, with respect towards the international law and other nations’ interests,” he stated on Thursday in his speech before graduates of military academies. Putin emphasized in his speech that Russia was an open country, ready to cooperate with any nation on equal conditions.

The Russian leader added that he saw many challenges to the country, including some in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders. And these challenges were the main reason the country needed strong, modern and adequately armed military force, he said.

“This is a guarantee of Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, a guarantee of peaceful and calm life of millions of our compatriots,” Putin said promising that the authorities will continue the support of the military and complete the ongoing major reform of the forces.

The president mentioned the strategic nuclear forces and space forces as priority for active development. He also reminded the officers that the military were regularly receiving newest weaponry developed by Russian specialists, examples of which were recently presented at the Army-2015 exhibition.

Earlier this month one of Putin’s top aides, Yury Ushakov, told reporters that Russia was against a new arms race, but will duly react to all new threats. This comment came days after the president told Russia’s top brass that military forces will get 40 new nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles “capable of penetrating the most modern defenses” – the statement that caused some heated comments from NATO and Western nations.

Putin’s Thursday statement also echoes the president’s speech before top military officers delivered in April this year in which he also called Russia’s strong military potential a guarantee for peaceful life and the sovereign development of the country.

Back then he also reiterated Russia’s opposition to meddling with other nations’ internal affairs and blamed such actions for the major problems that had recently appeared in the international politics.

“Today we can see that some nations are changing their policy in the direction of unlimited preemptive actions of offensive nature. As a result, the conflict potential is increasing in the regions that are of strategic significance for Russia. The threats emerge that we cannot ignore,” Putin noted.


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