Moscow: Russia will respond to the United States' "prompt global strike" programme designed to take out targets within an hour by upgrading its nuclear and space defence forces, its deputy prime minister said Wednesday.
"Our response to the prompt global strike strategy is upgrading our strategic nuclear forces and resources -- the strategic rocket forces and the naval ones -- and also developing air and space defence resources according to the plans we have finalised," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees defence, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
He spoke after President Vladimir Putin held a government meeting on Russia's defence spending at which he accused Western countries of provoking the Ukraine crisis in order to "revive NATO."
Using Cold War rhetoric, Putin complained of "new threats appearing" including the buildup of NATO forces in eastern Europe, the development of the US missile shield in Europe and Alaska and the development of the 'Prompt Global Strike' programme.
"The theory of the so-called global disarming strike is also being worked on," Putin said.
The Pentagon's Prompt Global Strike programme is developing conventional weapons that could take out targets anywhere on the planet within an hour's notice.
Deputy Defence Minister Yury Borisov said earlier Wednesday that Russia could be forced to develop technology in order to counteract new weapons, but stressed this would be a defensive move.
"We may be forced to do this, but we will develop systems in order to counteract these new types of weapons, because the main credo of our country is defensive and we do not plan to change that," he was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti news agency.