On February 21, 2017, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu spoke at the opening ceremony of the II All-Russian Youth Forum at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. In his lecture, titled "International Military-Political and Military-Economic Cooperation: Modern Tendencies," Shoigu said that the future role of nuclear weapons in deterring a potential aggressor will decrease, due to development of high-precision weapons: "The impact potential of our high-precision weapons will increase by 4 times to 2021. That will ensure the security of Russian borders." While accusing the West of leading the world into chaos and anarchy, Shoigu stressed that Russia's strategic partner is China.
Below are excerpts of Shoigu's speech:
"It Is To Be Noted That Future Role Of Nuclear Weapons In Deterring A Potential Aggressor Will Decrease"
"The attempts of the U.S.-led West to impede the establishment of a new fair world order are leading to growing chaos, anarchy and meet protests in many countries. International organizations, which are to ensure the global security, are unstable. The military force becomes the main instrument for resolution of international problems.
"The threat of the international terrorism remains a serious factor. More and more often extremists use information space [i.e. the internet] to disseminate their ideas and recruit new members of terrorist groupings. This work is the most intensive among young people. It means that you should use the information on the Internet thoughtfully. Under these conditions, it is necessary to unite efforts of public and social institutions to provide protection of national interests and strengthening of defense of this country.
"Here, the development of the Strategic Nuclear Forces remains the absolute priority. Russian nuclear weapons guarantee deterrence of any aggression from any foreign country. Currently, the Strategic Missile Forces are being equipped with modern missile systems. The Navy is receiving new nuclear submarines with ballistic and cruise missiles, which have no analogues in the world.
"Owing to it, the rate of modern weapons in the strategic nuclear forces will reach up to 90%, and in the Strategic missile forces – up to 62% by the end of 2020. It will discourage any potential aggressor to encroach on the security of this country.
"It is to be noted that future role of nuclear weapons in deterring a potential aggressor will decrease. Primarily, it will be decreased due to development of high-precision weapons. The impact potential of our high-precision weapons will increase by 4 times to 2021. That will ensure the security of Russian borders. Undoubtedly, the general-purpose forces, will continue to play an important role in ensuring the state military security. We pay special to the development of the forces. The Land Forces will be equipped with modern weapons and hardware by no less than 70 per cent by the end of 2020. The Air Force will receive new-generation aircraft, which are to increase the combat capabilities of our aviation in 1.5 times. The Navy will receive modern ships and submarines equipped with high-precision long-range cruise missiles.
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"The level of personnel readiness to perform tasks in complicated situations is an important indicator of the Armed Forces combat capability. The practical application experience of our grouping in the Syrian Arab Republic contributes to combat training. It is to be stressed that we are not just eliminating terrorists in Syria and liberating this state from them, but we are preventing extremists from arriving in this country. We are providing a variety of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people; first, it is food and medicines. 783 events have been held just since February of 2016. The citizens have received 1,390 tons of humanitarian aid.
"Our officers have been reconciling the opposing sides. The Russian Center for reconciliation, created for this task in Syria, has been operating effectively for year. In total, 1,267 inhabited areas have joined the reconciliation process. 174 armed formations of 'moderate opposition' have claimed to observe the ceasefire regime. Operations by the Russian Aerospace Forces grouping allowed to accomplish the geopolitical task. Chain of the colored revolutions replicated in the Middle Eastern and African countries has been interrupted.
"Negotiations on the Syrian crisis took place in Astana upon the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in January. The negotiation platform in Astana will be an effective mechanism for settling the crisis. Russia gives preference to political, diplomatic, economical, and other non-military ways in providing global and regional security. In general, military-technical cooperation of the Russian Federation and foreign countries has good development prospects despite a number of negative factors."
"NATO Claimed Russia To Be The Main Threat"
"As for relations with NATO, the leadership of the Alliance continues rejecting all forms of practical cooperation with the Russian party. Instead of joining efforts to fight the common evil – international terrorism, the NATO claimed Russia to be the main threat and continues building up its military potential near our borders. The NATO has significantly increased the number of military exercise held in Eastern Europe, Baltic Sea and Black Sea. Most of them have anti-Russia character.
"Intelligence activity of the NATO countries has been intensified along the Russian borders. Within last 10 years, total number of reconnaissance aviation flights near the Russian borders has been increased by almost 3 times, in the south-west of Russia – by 8 times. In comparison, 107 such flights were carried out in the 90s, in the 2000s – 298, and in 2016 – 852 ones.
"We have been registering NATO's ships armed with missiles in the Black Sea more and more frequently. The missile defense system of the United States in Europe has been put on a level of initial operational readiness. Missile defense complex was deployed in Romania in 2016. Standard Missiles 3, U.S.-made interceptor missiles, are to be deployed in Poland until the end of 2017. Overall military budget of the NATO member-states is more than 900 billion dollars. This is more than the Russian defense budget by several ten-fold. However, we are ready to establish equitable dialogue with Brussels about all topical issues of global and regional security.
"We consider that the NATO-Russia Council is to promote this process. The Council has continued its work since 2016. We could succeed in joint fight against international terrorism. It particularly refers to countering the spread of the ISIS and other terrorist organizations. The Russian party will use such platforms as the Moscow Conference on International Security, consultations of working groups of the NATO-Russia Council and International Syria Support Group in order to build up partnership with the NATO.
"Russia's strategic partner is the People's Republic of China. Bilateral military cooperation is developing actively. Primarily it is focused on the fight against international terrorism. Joint actions are regularly practiced during the military exercises Naval interaction and Peaceful mission. The Russian Federation continues to prepare specialists for the People's Liberation Army of China. In total more than 3,600 Chinese servicemen have been trained in the universities of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
"The leadership of the People's Liberation Army of China considers international competitions such as the International Army Games to be forward-looking forms of cooperation. This year, the several stages will be held in China. Our countries are cooperating in various multilateral formats primarily with the UN, BRICS, SCO, and show an example of balanced and responsible approach to settling international and regional issues.
"The Ministry of Defense is consistently expanding the geography of its partners in the field of military and technical cooperation. The ARMY, annual Military-Technical Forum, is an effective tool to promote our military products to the world market.
"Last year more than seven thousand exhibits were presented. In less than six days, more than 70 foreign delegations and more than half a million guests visited the exhibition area. An extensive scientific and business program was conducted. This year's event promises to be even more massive. This August I invite you all to the ARMY 2017 Forum in the Patriot, Congress and Exhibition Centre, in Kubinka.
"In conclusion, I want to say a few words about the cooperation between the army and the society. The recent polls show that the vast majority of citizens positively estimate the current situation in the Russian army. The society considers to be positive the changes that have occurred in the army over the last 2-3 years, in particular, the improvement of the conditions of military service, the rearmament of the army and the navy with modern weapons and equipment, the improvement of combat readiness of troops. Last year the Armed Forces took leading positions in rating of governmental and non-governmental institutions of the country..."
 See MEMRI TV Clip No. 5917, Russian Defense Minister: The British Lion Will Not Tell Our Bear What to Do, February 21, 2017.
See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6810, Russia This Week – February 20-March 2, 2017, March 2, 2017.
 Eng.mil.ru, February 21, 2017.