While all public services including the military are starved for cash, the Strategic Rocket Forces are one area that may be protected from further reductions in resources. Prime Minister Kirienko, on a visit to the troops that Defense Minister Igor Sergeev recently commanded, declared that the nuclear deterrent is the “foundation of independence and strength of the state.” Regardless of any economic crisis, he said, the Strategic Rocket Forces are “absolutely inviolable” and “must and will be financed.”