Russia’s plans to renew its military and nuclear arsenal are not cause for alarm, the US Defense Department said on Tuesday.
Russia was “perfectly entitled to a robust self-defense,” press secretary Geoff Morrell told a news conference.
“I have not heard any alarm in this building about any proposed Russian build-up of its military,” he said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday announced a “large-scale” rearmament for the army and navy and investments in the country’s nuclear missiles, while also accusing NATO of pushing ahead with expansion near Russian borders.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has spoken previously about how Russia’s aging population means Moscow will have trouble recruiting enough young soldiers and will likely reduce its large military force, Morrell said.
“And as a result, we’ve noticed that the Russian government is investing heavily in its strategic (nuclear) arsenal. That’s a fact of life.