In his annual address to the Russian parliament today, President Putin said a few words about Russia's strategic forces. He underscored that he believes that it's nuclear weapons that make a country a "leading world power" and outlined what he presented as achievements of his administration - construction of new strategic submarines (he didn't mention the delays, of course) and deployment of Topol-M missiles.

Putin raised some concerns about possibility of a new arms race on a "new technological level" that might involve "destabilizing weapons". It's hard to tell what exactly did he have in mind, but he did mention space-based weapons in the next sentence (although I found the reference to the lack of guarantees against deployment of nuclear weeapons in space puzzling - the last time I checked the Outer Space Treaty was alive and well). Whatever are the concerns, the only suggested way of dealing with them was military modernization. Does not look particularly encouraging.

One more issue was mentioned by Mr. Putin - he warned about the dangers of the plan to convert some ICBMs to conventional roles. In his words,

A launch of a missile like this can provoke a disproportionate reaction from nuclear powers, including a full-scale retaliatory strike that would use strategic nuclear forces.
Quite chilly, in fact. No doubt, the plan to have conventional ICBMs (not to mention SLBMs) is quite dangerous, but it would be nice to hear some ideas about what to do about dangers like these.