VLADIVOSTOK, July 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Defense Minister called modernization of the Russian Navy a priority. "Russia's leadership and the defense ministry officials realize that without a modern and powerful Navy we cannot hope for the bright future," he said at the parade celebrating the Russian Navy Day in Vladivostok at the Pacific Fleet base in the Amur Bay Sunday. Among specific priorities Ivanov mentioned "maintaining the potential of strategic nuclear forces, modernization of the fleet and weaponry, improvement of naval bases and the logistics system." He also said that these tasks pursue the ultimate goal - to protect Russia's national interests at sea and to preserve Russia's status as a world power.
Ivanov called for a more active modernization and rearmament of the Pacific Fleet, which he considers a key component of the Russian Armed Forces.
"Suffice it to say that the Pacific Fleet's zone of responsibility covers about 3,000 kilometers between Vladivostok and the Bering Strait alone. There are also other areas of its deployment," he told a news conference in Vladivostok.
Sergei Ivanov is currently on an inspection tour of the Far East tat will last till August 1.