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General Says Russia Could Use Nuclear Weapons to Keep Country Intact

Russia's armed forces would be within their full rights to use nuclear weapons if any threats to the integrity of the country arise, Russian General Staff head Nikolay Makarov said Wednesday.

"Of course, we are not preparing to fight against NATO; we don't have those kinds of goals or tasks. But it is clearly written in our doctrine when we are within our rights to use nuclear weapons. In this case we would use them," Makarov said in an interview on radio station Ekho Moskvy, RIA-Novosti reported.

The general added that strategic stability is dependent on the nuclear deterrent.

"In terms of our armed forces, we are investing every kopeck wisely and a very serious modernization of our nuclear potential is being undertaken," Makarov said.

He also spoke about Russia's plans to purchase a new class of submarines, to upgrade its bombers, and to introduce new strategic missiles that the general noted are far more advanced than the previous generation.

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