Nikolai Makarov, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, stated that Russia would use force to defend its territorial integrity, if such necessity comes up. Russia would be ready to use strategic nuclear arms for this purpose as well, the official added.
Makarov also said that Russia was not going to conduct military actions against NATO. However, he added, the military leadership of the country would act in accordance with doctrines to counter a possible threat.
The general added that Russia was a neighbor to several "unstable" countries, where the use of nuclear arms was not required in case of conflicts, Arguments.ru website said.
"We need well-prepared, powerful and mobile Armed Forces that will be able to handle any type of conflict situations that may occur inside Russia. We must be prepared for it," Makarov said. The nuclear forces are the basis for strategic stability, the official added.
Makarov previously stated that Russia would respond to the USA immediately, if the latter deployed Aegis-equipped combat vessels in the Black Sea and in the seas of the northern region. "If such vessels appear in, let's say, the Barents Sea or the Black Sea, we will act within the framework of special directions of the state arms program," the general said.
According to the official, the point, when Russia has to take decisive measures in connection with the development of the European missile defense system, is close. The missile defense system in Europe has already entered its fourth and final stage. By 2018, European countries will modernize Standard counter-missiles that will pose a threat to the Russian territory.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign