March 18, 2018

Putin's nuke boasts are unlikely to change balance of power

02 March 2018, 05:06 | Christie Tate

Mikhail Metzel TASS

Mikhail Metzel  TASS

It's not clear how viable Russia's new weapons systems are either. "US defense capabilities are, and will, remain second to none", she told reporters.

Some analysts said President Vladimir Putin's statements about the new weapons may speed up what they see as an emerging arms race with the United States. He said that Russia's new nuclear weapons were in reaction to years of pleading with the United States about not breaking away from anti-missile agreements.

Jane's by IHS Markit noted that coming after the USA nuclear posture review Putin's statement "not only signals strength to a domestic Russian audience, but is a clear sign to the US that Russia will continue to modernize its nuclear forces to ensure their credibility". The missiles will come from existing U.S. Army stockpiles, probably those that are already stationed in Europe, speeding up the process for transferring them to Ukraine's military. It is reminiscent of US work in the 1960s on a similar weapon, dubbed "The Big Stick", but ultimately scrapped.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with bipartisan members of Congress to discuss school and community safety in the wake of the Florida school shootings at the White House in Washington, D.C., on February 28.

After President Vladimir Putin's address to the nation on Thursday, when he spoke about Russia's new nuclear weapons, the U.S. State department reacted.

Only three weeks before the March 18 presidential election, Putin's annual address was meant to outline his vision for the country for the first time since announcing his bid for re-election in December.

Nauert said she thought "it's pretty clear what their target is", as observers noted that one graphic Putin used for his speech showed missiles raining down on an area of land that resembled the USA state of Florida. She called the animation "cheesy".

The video, shown at Putin's annual address to the country's Federal Assembly, raised all sorts of questions, including why Putin made a decision to ramp up tensions and how the U.S.

"We aren't threatening anyone, we aren't going to attack anyone, we aren't going to take anything from anyone", he said.

Canada wins Olympic bronze in men's 5000m short track speed skating relay
That boosted Korea's medal total to four golds, four silvers and four bronzes, with all but one coming on the ice in speedskating. In making the team, she has not only avoided embarrassing herself, but has become the first African-American to make the team.

Other countries only listen to Russian Federation when it comes out with new weapons, Putin said: "You will listen to us now".

Speaking more generally about the new developments, he said Russian Federation had adopted 300 new models of weaponry providing the armed forces with 18 new ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles), two submarine-based ballistic missiles.

Russian Federation has tested new nuclear weapons, he said, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile and a nuclear-powered underwater drone that can not be intercepted by enemies.

The Trump administration told Congress on Thursday that it plans to sell Ukraine 210 anti-tank missiles to help it defend its territory from Russian Federation, in a major escalation of USA lethal assistance to Ukraine's military.

"We are not surprised by (Putin's) statement, and the American people should rest assured that we are fully prepared", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.

Putin quoted a speech he gave back in 2004, vowing that Russian Federation would develop a new generation of weaponry, a promise that he said has now been fulfilled.

"Missile defenses will be useless against it", Putin said.

At the State Department, spokesman Heather Nauert noted the timing of Putin's speech - weeks ahead of the election.

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