Saturday, January 19, 2008


Moscow, January 19, 2008
First Published: 17:13 IST(19/1/2008)
Last Updated: 17:21 IST(19/1/2008)
Russia may use nuclear weapons if necessary: army chief

Russia would use the armed forces including nuclear weapons to protect the country and its allies, the Russian Armed Forces' Chief of the General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky said on Saturday.

"We do not intend to attack anybody. But all our partners must realise that for protection of Russia and its allies, armed forces will be used, including nuclear weapons," Baluyevsky was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying at a scientific conference of the Academy of Military Sciences.

With the emergence of new threats to security, Russia needs to update a number of provisions in the existing national security concept, Baluyevsky said.

"As life is ever-changing, it has become necessary today to update certain provisions of the concept and what is more important is to turn these provisions into a working mechanism for our national security," he said.

Baluyevsky's speech came a day after Georgia announced that 77 per cent of its population voted for joining NATO in a recent referendum.

Georgia's possible entry into NATO will seriously change the regional geo-strategic situation, Nikolai Bordyuzha, general secretary of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), said on Friday.

"Georgia's membership in NATO means the military infrastructure of the alliance would advance closer to the CSTO borders and there would be higher military activity directly outside the external borders of the organisation's zone of responsibility," he said.

"This will in itself inevitably provoke stronger instability and unpredictability that will jeopardise the CSTO's zone of responsibility," Bordyuzha said.

The seven-member CSTO was renamed in October 2002 on the basis of the Collective Security Treaty (CST), which was signed in March 1992, within the framework of the commonwealth of Independent States.

The current members of the CSTO include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia and Uzbekistan.
© Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times


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