MAY 10 2006


Russia faces a fortress US — Putin May 10

Russia faces arms race against 'fortress' US May 10

Russia needs to be strong against ‘fortress’ US: Putin Mat 10 

The fortress of Ephraim will cease the same Damascus gets destroyed Isaiah 17 1-7

Abba's Watchman always be watching as the watchmen are with the Lord


Russia faces a growing arms race against a "fortress" United States that cares more about its own interests than democracy or human rights, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday in his state of the nation speech.

"It is premature to speak of the end of the arms race," Putin told both houses of parliament and other top officials in the nationally televised address. "It is in reality rising to a new technological level."

Putin said that Russia was forced to react when the United States was spending 25 times more on defense.

"In the defense sphere, this is called 'their house is their fortress'. Well done! But it means that we must build our house strongly, reliably, because we see what's going on in the world."

He swiped scathingly at US criticism of what many in Washington say are setbacks for democracy and human rights under the Russian leader's seven-year rule.

"Where does the whole pathos about the need to struggle for democracy and human rights disappear to, when the talk is about ensuring one's own interests?" Putin demanded. "Then it seems everything is possible. There are no limits at all."

He then borrowed a popular Russian saying to illustrate the United States' alleged double standards. "As the saying goes, comrade wolf knows who to eat and he eats without listening to others."

In his sweeping, hour-long Kremlin speech, Putin also laid out a vision of a Russia switching from an aging and uncompetitive Soviet-era infrastructure to an economy centered on high-tech areas such as nanotechnology, nuclear power and the space industry.

"In conditions of fierce international competition, the country's economic development must be based, essentially, on its scientific and technological advantages," he said. "Unfortunately, one has to face that the majority of the technical equipment used in the national economy is not years behind the top level, but decades."

Putin said that modernization of Russia's huge but inefficient armed forces was vital to global stability and that the country must be "solid".

"Key responsibility for standing up against threats, for guaranteeing global stability, will lie with the world's leading powers possessing nuclear weapons and powerful military-political influence. That's why modernizing the Russian army is extremely important now," he said. The mostly conscript army must fill two-thirds of its ranks with professionals by 2008, he said.

According to Putin, Russia continues to face gigantic problems in the wake of the Soviet collapse in 1991, chief among them the steadily worsening demographic situation.

"The most serious problem in modern Russia is demography," Putin said, stating that the population of just under 143 million people was falling by an average of about 700,000 a year. He outlined a raft of measures such as increased social benefits for mothers.

Seeking to reassure Western markets over Russia's reliability as an energy supplier, Putin said "we must do everything not only for our domestic development, but also to fully meet our obligations before our traditional partners".

However, he was adamant over Russia's rights to look after its own interests, saying that Russia would join the World Trade Organization (WTO) only on its own terms.

"Russia's membership in the WTO should not be a subject of bargaining," he said, claiming that discussions over Russia's entry were being linked to "issues that have nothing to do with the economy", adding that "we see negotiations on entering the World Trade Organization only on terms that support Russia's economic interests".





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