Putin presses for comprehensive military upgrade

2013-02-27 19:00:51 GMT2013-02-28 03:00:51(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MOSCOW, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Russian military science should be comprehensively developed and advanced to meet modern challenges, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

"We need to develop leading scientific schools which work on theories of building and using armed forces, to support military- scientific centers, including those creating unmanned drones and combat robots," Putin told a meeting at the Defense Ministry.

The president ordered to create a system of the prospective research in military science and technology in two years and vowed to advance Russian armed forces to a new level of capabilities in three to five years.

"We see it today that instable zones multiply on the planet ... The efforts to stagger strategic balance have been undertaken methodically," the Kremlin website quoted Putin as saying.

The strongman mentioned U.S. missile defense deployment, NATO expansion, threat of Arctic militarization among the challenges Russia faces.

Meanwhile, he admitted that some mistakes have been made during the reforms of the armed forces in the previous years. "Not all decisions have been justified," Putin said.

Anatoly Serdyukov, defense minister during 2007-2012, was sacked by Putin last November and replaced by Sergei Shoigu.

Moscow will allocate 20 trillion rubles (some 654 billion U.S. dollars) for defense purposes until 2020.

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