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Russia Abandons Policy Of Maintaing Military Parity With US

AFP | April 4 2006

The Russian armed forces chief of staff said Monday that Russia had given up on military parity with the United States but would retain "sufficient deterrent force" to guarantee its safety.

"We won't be pulling in our belts to have parity with the United States or with NATO. That is just not realistic," General Yuri Baluyevsky said at a press conference in Moscow to launch a new report on the Russia's armed forces.

"NATO has four million men in its armed forces. The Russian army is made up of 1,134,000 soldiers. It's clear enough," he added.

"We have no intention of going to war with NATO. That is in the past, although Russia will still maintain enough of a deterrent to ensure anyone thinking about invading its borders and seizing its rich natural resources will think again."

Baluyevsky also said it was the "sovereign right" of Ukraine, which has weapons manufacturing deals with Russia, to join NATO.

"Having said that 70 percent of the population of Ukraine say they are against joining NATO," he said.

Baluyevski told journalists at the press conference Russia was not dependent on Ukraine's factories for its missiles production.

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