Ashton Carter, the Head of the U.S. Department of Defense, believes that the confrontation between the U.S. and its NATO allies and Russia will continue even if the Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves office, Joinfo.ua reports referring to Reuters.
"The adaptations I was talking are specifically in anticipation that Russia might not change under Vladimir Putin, or even thereafter," Carter said.
Answering the question of whether Putin will change his behavior in the international arena, the Pentagon chief said he hoped so, but "I can't be sure."
On Wednesday and Thursday, NATO defense ministers will meet in Brussels to discuss a secret document, developed by the leadership of the Alliance. The military bloc is planning to consider real possibilities of Russia's nuclear potential in detail.
The reason for the meeting was the statement by Putin that Russia would soon replenish its arsenal with 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles capable to overcome even the most advanced missile defense systems.