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Medvedev orders large-scale rearmament to counter NATO

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a "large scale" rearmament program to start in 2011, including a renewal of the country's nuclear program, in response to perceived NATO expansion near the Russian borders.

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AFP - President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday NATO was still seeking to expand its physical presence near Russian borders and ordered a "large-scale" Russian rearmament from 2011.

"From 2011 a large-scale rearmament of the army and navy will begin," Medvedev was quoted by news agencies as saying at a meeting of military chiefs in Moscow.

He called for a renewal of Russia's nuclear weapons arsenal and added that NATO was pursuing military expansion near Russia's borders.

"Analysis of the military-political situation in the world shows that a serious conflict potential remains in some regions.... Attempts to expand the military infrastructure of NATO near the borders of our country are continuing.

"The primary task is to increase the combat readiness of our forces, first of all our strategic nuclear forces. They must be able to fulfil all the tasks necessary to ensure Russia's security," Medvedev said.

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