NEW YORK, December 25. /TASS/. Russia has significantly expanded its military potential over the past years and increased the capability of the armed forces, The New York Times newspaper has reported.
"Russia has bolstered its military and asserted itself on the world stage with a forcefulness not seen since the Cold War, ratcheting up tensions with the West," the report said on Thursday.
In an effort "to reclaim its influence," Moscow reinvests in its bases in the Arctic, expanding old ones and building new ones. Due to climate change, new natural resources can be made more accessible by melting ice and also additional maritime trade routes could open, analysts say.
The newspaper says over the past years Russia "has made big increases to its military budget" and also holds military exercises involving thousands of soldiers and officers. "These efforts serve as combat training for the troops and as a show of military strength to the world."
Russia also makes huge efforts to modernize its forces. "The country is buying, updating and developing its military equipment, with the intent to modernize 70% of its military by 2020," the article reads.