MOSCOW - Russia will continue developing its nuclear triad of ballistic missiles, submarines and strategic bombers because such weapons are the main guarantee of its sovereignty, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

"We will continue to develop the nuclear triad and maintain its combat readiness, since the nuclear shield has been and remains the main guarantor of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state," Shoigu said.

"We will also increase the combat capabilities of the aerospace forces - both in terms of the work of fighters and bombers in areas where modern air defense systems are in operation, and in terms of improving unmanned aerial vehicles."

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)