vladimir putin meeting
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of Russia's General Staff Valery Gerasimov attend a meeting with top military officials at the Defence Ministry in Moscow, Russia December 22, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Nikolskyi via Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an annual meeting on Thursday that the country's military is stronger now than any potential aggressor. However, he added that it must strengthen its nuclear forces.

“We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defence systems,” Putin said in a statement.

Putin thanked the defence ministry for its work. However, he said that they should be cautioned as the situation may change very quickly if they let themselves relax even for a moment. He spoke after the annual report was presented by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

In his report, Shoigu lauded the Russian military achievements in Syria for its ongoing efforts in modernising its Army. He said that the country's military has fully covered the Russian border with early warning systems for the first time.

Shoigu announced that there were plans to send more troops to Russia's west, southwest and the Arctic after complaining about the increased North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) troops in its border areas. He said that NATO has proclaimed that Russia is its main threat instead of uniting efforts with its military forces against terrorism.

Military drills were conducted near Russia's border in 2016 by Russia and NATO members.

Although Putin thinks that his army is stronger now, senior research fellow at London's Royal United Services Institute Igor Sutyagin told the Associated Press that the Russian military was not the world's strongest but it was improving. He noted that it was due to Putin's control over his military.

Sutyagin said that the military is stronger because if Putin wants to use them, he does not need to seek for advice. He does not need to ask the parliament for the Capitol Hill. Because of the lack of restrictions, it makes the military equipped for combat. ​