Russia's nuclear forces must remain capable of guaranteeing the destruction of any potential aggressor, the president said Thursday.
"Maintaining a strategic balance means that our strategic deterrent forces must be capable of destroying any potential aggressor, no matter what modern weapons systems it has," Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of senior Russian military officials.
He said that Russia needs to build "principally new strategic weapons systems" to maintain the balance of forces.
"We're not going to keep comparing quantities of strategic forces in nuclear powers as we have been doing for decades, although it still makes some sense," Putin said in televised remarks. "In the modern world, it's the quality of weapons that is more important than the number of nuclear warheads."
He added that along with a strong nuclear deterrent, the military should also preserve efficient conventional forces.