''Strategic nuclear force top priority of Russian army in 2015''

 As Russia continues enhancing its combat capabilities, the army will focus on developing the strategic nuclear force in 2015, a senior military official said Monday.

IANS| Last Updated: Dec 30, 2014, 07:08 AM IST

Moscow: As Russia continues enhancing its combat capabilities, the army will focus on developing the strategic nuclear force in 2015, a senior military official said Monday.

"The condition and development of the strategic nuclear force is the top priority, of course," Russia`s Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov told a local TV channel.

Three regiments of the Strategic Missile Force have been rearmed with new system, Yars, and four strategic bombers Tu-160 and Tu-95MS have undergone upgrade and entered duty in 2014, Xinhua quoted him as saying.

In addition, two advanced radars were commissioned in Kalinigrad and Irkutsk, and two more entered experimental duty in Barnaul and Yeniseisk this year and were expected to switch to active duty next year, Gerasimov added.

"All strategic routes of approach... have been put under control," Tass news agency quoted him as saying, adding that the combat capabilities of the Russian army grew 1.3 times.

The Russian Navy, he noted, has conducted 1.5 times more practice cruises in 2014 than that in 2013. 

Russia is gradually restoring its presence in all areas of the world oceans, with Russian warships calling at 140 ports this year, Gerasimov said.

According to Russia`s federal budget for 2015, the defence sector takes 3.286 trillion rubles (some $81 billion at the time it was released), which is equivalent to 4.2 percent of the gross domestic product, 0.8 percentage point higher than that in 2014.