Russia to focus on upgrading its nuclear arsenal

A top Russian official says modernizing the country's nuclear forces will be a high priority for the government. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov says upgrading ground, sea and air components of Russia's strategic forces is costly but necessary. Ivanov told lawmakers Wednesday that the government will also focus on improving the military's information networks and procuring smart weapons. He said the most important program for the air force is the development of a next-generation fighter jet. Ivanov said earlier that Russia earmarked 1.3 trillion rubles ($36 billion) for new weapons purchases. He said the planned allocations will not be reduced despite the financial crisis.