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Russia: Chernomyrdin Says Strategic Missile Forces Reliable

Moscow, Feb. 21 (NCA) - Russia's Prime Minister said today Russian strategic missiles are "combat ready" and the country's nuclear shield is in reliable hands.

After personally inspecting a strategic forces base outside Moscow, Chernomyrdin conceded there were problems but said these problems could be solved.

Chernomyrdin said the government considered it a priority task to provide funding and other necessary conditions for maintaining the high readiness of the missiles forces.

President Boris Yeltsin earlier this week ordered Chernomyrdin to inspect the missile forces after Defense Minister Igor Rodionov complained they risked getting out of control because of poor funding. Rodionov today accompanied Chernomyrdin on his visit to the missiles' site.