Russia is working on anti-satellite weapons to match technologies developed by other nations and will speed up modernization of its nuclear forces, a deputy defense minister was quoted as saying Thursday. The statement by Gen. Valentin Popovkin signaled the government's intention to pursue its ambitious plans to strengthen the military despite the money crunch caused by a worsening financial crisis. He said the military will procure enough new missiles to deploy near Poland if the US goes ahead with its European missile defense plans. Popovkin said Russia continues to oppose a space arms race but will respond to moves made by other countries, according to Russian news reports. "We can't sit back and quietly watch others doing that; such work is being conducted in Russia," Popovkin was quoted as saying. Russia already has some "basic, key elements" of such weapons, he said without elaboration.