News / Europe

Russian President Warns of New Arms Race

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks in Moscow's Kremlin, 30 Nov 2010
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks in Moscow's Kremlin, 30 Nov 2010

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says a new weapons race could start in the next decade if Russia and Western nations fail to agree on a new missile defense shield for Europe.

In his annual address to both houses of parliament Tuesday, Mr. Medvedev said that in the absence of cooperation, Russia would be prepared to deploy "new means of attack."  He did not elaborate.

His remarks come just weeks after Mr. Medvedev accepted NATO's invitation for Russia to participate in discussions about an expanded missile shield for Europe. It is unclear what Moscow's role will be, but experts from both sides are meeting on the issue.

Much of Mr. Medvedev's speech focused on national, social and economic matters, in which he called for Russia's regions to sell off assets such as factories, banks and real estate.

Mr. Medvedev aims to reduce Russia's general inflation rate from the current 7.5 percent to less than five percent in three years. He said Russia needs to take steps to lower its deficit and grow its economy.

He also encouraged Russians to have larger families to push back against high mortality rates and falling birth rates in the country.

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