Vladimir Putin speaking to the Defense Ministry Board. Photo courtesy of Kremlin.ru
In an unusual hard-talk President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Russia’s enemies are making methodical attempts to rock the strategic balance and pointed to the Arctic as an area where the danger of militarization exists.
Putin made his speech at the expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry Board in Moscow, reviewing the ministry’s work last year and examined plans for the Armed Forces’ continued development.
“Methodical attempts are made to rock the strategic balance in one way or another. The US has practically started the second stage of its plan to set up a global missile defense system and there are probes into the possibility of NATO’s further eastward expansion. The danger of militarization of the Arctic exists,” Vladimir Putin said according to the transcripts posted at the presidential portal.
In his hardliner speech on Wednesday Putin urged Russia’s armed forces to continue reforms and radical rearmament.
“Our task - to create a mobile, well-equipped armed forces ready to respond promptly and adequately to any potential threats to peace, to protect our citizens, our allies, the future of our nation and state,” Vladimir Putin said.
Russia is currently increasing its spending on military hardware.
“By 2015, the proportion of the new generation of weapons should be 30 percent, and by 2020 to reach 70-100 percent,” Putin said.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Sports in the Barents region have joined forces and established Barents Games. This weekend athletes from all over the region met in Oulu to compete in 14 differents sports during the Barents Summer Games. See our slide show from the competitions.
People participating in culture-, sport and Barents cooperation projects can from October apply for visa to Norway without paying a single ruble, says Marit Egholm Jacobsen with the Norwegian Consulate General in Murmansk.