MOSCOW, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The military buildup of the United States and its allies has forced Russia to increase its combat potential to guarantee its security, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday.
"One of the main destructive factors complicating the international situation is the U.S. activities aimed at retaining its dominant role in the world and excluding other countries from competition," Gerasimov said at a news briefing.
"It is for these purposes that Washington and its allies are taking comprehensive and concerted measures to contain Russia and discredit its role in international affairs," he said.
In 2018, Russia concentrated efforts on maintaining the high level of combat readiness of its strategic nuclear and non-nuclear forces, building up a layered aerospace defense system, and improving the training of its troops and control system, Gerasimov said.
In response to the buildup of the U.S. global missile defense system, Russia has increased the combat capabilities of its ground-based strategic nuclear forces and continued to arm them with modern Yars missiles capable of overcoming the missile defense system, he said.
They have also received advanced Avangard cruise missiles and successfully tested Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles, Gerasimov said.
The Russian strategic naval nuclear forces have received new submarines with ballistic missiles capable of penetrating the missile defense system, and the strategic air nuclear forces have upgraded their aircraft and equipped them with modern weapons.
However, Russia is not getting involved in a ruinous arms race, Gerasimov said.
He said Russia has limited the financing of its armed forces to around 50 billion U.S. dollars a year over the last few years, much less than the U.S. military budget.