The Russian President, who is at loggerheads with his US counterpart Donald Trump over Washington’s proposed withdrawal from a key Cold War nuclear arms treaty, said his new advanced weapons, “will force those who got accustomed to militarist rhetoric to think”. Mr Putin made the comments in an address to his Defense Ministry’s expanded board meeting in Moscow this afternoon.
He told members: “A serious breakthrough has been made in developing advanced and unparalleled weapons, about which I said in the address to the Federal Assembly on March 1 this year.
“I hope our newest systems will make think those who got accustomed to militarist and aggressive rhetoric.”
The Russian leader said serial production of Avangard hypersonic missile systems has been launched and successful tests of Russia’s most advanced Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile have been carried out.
He said the Kinzhal air-launched precision hypersonic weapon had also been successfully placed on combat duty along with futuristic Peresvet combat lasers.
Mr Putin told the meeting: “These weapons significantly increase the potential of the army and the fleet, reliably ensuring Russia’s security for decades to come.
“These developments also strengthen the balance of power and global stability.”
He also revealed the Russian military’s operational and combat readiness had significantly improved, saying six “independent checks carried out this year” confirmed the country’s forces and means could be swiftly deployed to distances of up to 4,350 miles and reinforce groups in crucial strategic directions.
Mr Putin said the Vostok-2018 war-games had yielded “good results” and noted partners from China and Mongolia had acted in line with the general plan and under single combat rules with Russian units.
The president also mentioned the Ocean Shield drills, held in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, when a large fleet grouping together with the long-range aviation solved a broad range of tasks, using the newest tactical methods of actions of naval forces and aviation.
Mr Putin’s latest display of sabre-rattling comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and the US over the future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and repeated his threat that Washington’s withdrawal could ruin global security.
He told today’s meeting: “The US statement on withdrawing from the INF treaty causes serious concern.
“This step may have very negative consequences and will noticeably weaken regional and global security.
“In a perspective, this may actually mean the degradation and even the ruin of the entire architecture of arms control and mass destruction weapons non-proliferation.”
The INF treaty has held since 1987 when it was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
It has kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for three decades and required both countries to eliminate all their nuclear missiles with a rage of between 300 miles and 3,400 miles
The treaty was the first time the countries had agreed to reduce their nuclear weapons and led to nearly 2,700 short and medium-range missiles being dismantled.