Kremlin says Russia not interested in 'arms race'
The Kremlin denied that Russia was violating any arms control agreements and said it did not want to be part of an arms race, after Putin talked up a new arsenal of cutting-edge weapons.
‘We categorically reject any accusations that Russia is violating any provisions and articles of international law on disarmament and arms control,’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on 2 March.
‘Russia is not going to be pulled into any arms race.’
Putin stunned the West - and many in Russia - on Thursday by using his state of the nation address to unveil a new arsenal of ‘invincible’ hypersonic weapons and submarines three weeks before an election is expected to extend his rule until 2024.
Nearly half of Putin's almost two-hour speech was dedicated to the country's latest weaponry and was accompanied by video montages of missiles heading over the Atlantic.
Washington immediately accused Moscow of breaching Cold War-era arms treaties, with a State Department spokeswoman saying it was ‘unfortunate’ to have watched a video animation that depicted a nuclear attack on the United States.
Putin also told NBC in an interview, on 1 March, that an arms race effectively started again when Washington pulled out of the Soviet-era Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty under George W. Bush.
He also admitted the Russian weapons were in various stages of development, but some were battle ready.
Referring to Putin's speech, Peskov on Friday reiterated that Russia should not be seen as a threat.
‘Russia is not going to attack anyone, and these weapons do not present a danger to anyone who is not hatching plans to attack our country,’ he said.
Peskov denied suggestions by some commentators that one of the videos allegedly used a map of the United States to simulate an attack on Florida.
‘Frankly speaking, I did not see a map of Florida,’ he said.
‘No maps were used there, these are absolutely symbolic contours, there is not any tie-up to any concrete country.’
‘Russia will not respond symmetrically to US plans and the ongoing work to deploy missile defence systems,’ he said.
‘We are talking about an asymmetric response.’
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