After Russian President Vladimir Putin presented, during his annual speech to Russia’s parliament, new advanced weaponry capable of hitting any place in the world without being intercepted by any of the United States missile defenses stationed around Europe, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders accused Russia of violating its treaty obligations.
Sanders told reporters that Putin’s remarks confirmed what the United States has long known, that “Russia has been developing destabilizing weapons systems for over a decade, in direct violation of its treaty obligations.”
She further said that “President Trump understands the threats facing America and our allies in this century and is determined to protect our homeland and preserve peace through strength. U.S. defense capabilities are and will remain second to none.”
Politico reported that U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said department officials watched Putin’s speech with interest.
“It was certainly unfortunate to have watched the video animation that depicted a nuclear attack on the United States,” she said. “That’s certainly something that we did not enjoy watching. We don’t regard that as the behavior of a responsible international player.”
Putin described the new nuclear warhead missiles as supersonic and non-ballistic with unlimited range, which means that they can fly bellow conventional radars and evade NATO’s defense system.
According to Reuters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call on Friday that Russia categorically denied it was in breach of any international arms control pacts. He also dismissed the idea that Putin’s speech, which is one of his most belligerent in recent time, was meant to deepen Russia’s international isolation adding that it’s not Russia’s intention to start a new cold war.
“Russia does not plan to get dragged into any arms race,” said Peskov.
Meanwhile, analysts say that Putin’s speech is not meant to provoke the U.S., but it is part of his re-election campaign where he shows the advance of Russia’s military power under his rule in order to secure his future mandate.