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Russia needs stronger, more efficient army, president says

February 22, 2012, 21:16 UTC+3

He earlier called for building a modern army capable of responding to any aggression

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MOSCOW, February 22 (Itar-Tass) —— President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia needs a stronger and more efficient army capable of responding to modern challenges and threats.

Speaking at the Russian Army Theatre on the occasion of Fatherland Defenders’ Day, traditionally celebrated in Russia on February 23, Medvedev thanked war veterans and all those who fought and worked during the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War.

“New security challenges are emerging. Whole regions become increasingly unstable. What is also alarming is that the tradition to use strong methods involving force for solving problems has not been eliminated in international affairs. This is why any state should be able to protect itself,” he said.

“For Russia, for our big country a strong and highly efficient army is not only a necessity but a matter of survival,” Medvedev stressed.

He earlier called for building a modern army capable of responding to any aggression.

“Our strategic goal is to build an efficient army and navy matching the level of current threats and capable to responding to any level of aggression and being a real factor of international stability,” the president said.

“We are facing a fundamental task of reequipping the army and the navy with new weapons. It is necessary to concentrate resources and our best forces, which our country has done many times, in order to create new quality military hardware and finally get rid of the band-aid approach towards old weapons,” he said.

“The Armed Forces are a guarantor of our security, a guarantor of our state's development and a guarantor of sovereignty for our country. Although we always see problems in the development of the Armed Forces and in the development of all other institutions of the state and society, this is the frame without which no state can exist,” the president said.

“The Armed Forces are revamping themselves and assuming a new shape that will be needed by our country this century. And it is especially important for the officers to get actively engaged in the implementation of this national task,” Medvedev said.

“The feeling of their duty, the feeling of being part of the processes now underway in the country and the feeling of responsibility for its security and for the security of people have always been of utmost importance for military people,” he said.

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