Nuclear deterrent key to Russia's security - Putin

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"An analysis of the current international situation and prospects for its development force Russia to view the nuclear deterrent as the main way to guarantee its security," Putin told officials at his out-of-town residence while opening a meeting dedicated to the country's nuclear-weapons complex.

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Moscow Region, March 30 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russia's nuclear deterrent remained the key to ensuring its national security.

"An analysis of the current international situation and prospects for its development force Russia to view the nuclear deterrent as the main way to guarantee its security," Putin told officials at his out-of-town residence while opening a meeting dedicated to the country's nuclear-weapons complex.

Although there has been some debate internationally over whether nuclear weapons remain a relevant deterrent in the face of terrorism - the issue is in particular facing the British government as it decides the future of the Trident submarine force - Putin said maintaining a minimum number of nuclear weapons remained a priority.

"Under the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1996 we [Russia] must be sure that Russian nuclear weapons comply with modern requirements in terms of effectiveness and nuclear security," Putin told the session, which was attended also by the prime minister, defense minister and senior military officers.

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