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MOSCOW, February 14 (RIA Novosti) - The level of existing and potential military threats for Russia may increase significantly by 2030, and wars for natural resources should be expected, General Staff chief Col. Gen. Valery Gerasimov said on Thursday.
The level of military threats will be linked to the struggle among the world’s leading powers for fuel and energy resources, markets and “living space,” he said, adding that military capability will be actively used to ensure access to those resources.
Gerasimov, who presented his report to a conference entitled "Russia’s Military Security in the 21st Century," also said the share of new weaponry in the Russian armed forces should reach 70 percent by 2030 (16 percent at present), that all missile brigades will be equipped with Iskander theater ballistic missile systems by 2020 and that Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces will receive advanced S-400 and S-500 missile systems by 2020.
Military experts, however, were unimpressed by Gerasimov’s presentation, with some dismissing his remarks as repetitive and his ideas as banal.
“Everything that we heard at this event has been said a million times before to different audiences. All the participants were shrugging their shoulders, as if to ask: Where have these reports been copied from?” Mikhail Nenashev, chairman of the All-Russia Movement to Promote the Navy, told RIA Novosti.
“There is neither substance nor clarity of thought, only lecturing. It was a purely pro forma conference,” Nenashev added.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.