Russia must boost tank production as West arms Ukraine - ex-president Medvedev

FILE PHOTO: Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council Medvedev gives an interview outside Moscow

(Reuters) - Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said during a visit to a tank factory in the Siberian city of Omsk on Thursday that Moscow would increase production of tanks in response to Western arms supplies to Ukraine.

"As we know, our adversary (Ukraine) has been begging abroad for planes, missiles, tanks. How should we respond? It is clear that in this case, it is natural for us to increase production of various armaments including modern tanks," Medvedev said in video footage of his visit posted on the Telegram messaging app.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been visiting various European countries this week in a bid to secure fighter jets and long-range weapons he says are needed to defend his country against invading Russian forces.

Medvedev, who was perceived as a relative liberal during his presidency from 2008 to 2012, has since positioned himself as one of the most hawkish advocates of Russia's military campaign in Ukraine, often casting the conflict in apocalytic terms in his regular Telegram posts.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Gareth Jones)