Russian president also announces advancements to nuclear arsenal with missile capable of striking ‘any point in the world’
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated Thursday that any nuclear attack on an ally of Moscow would be viewed as an attack on Russia itself.
While speaking at the country’s annual State of the Union address, Putin asserted that Russia would respond immediately if such an attack were to take place.
“We would consider any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies to be a nuclear attack on our country,” Putin said. “The response would be immediate.”
The comments came as the Russian president unveiled new defense measures including an alleged cruise missile, said to be capable of reaching “any point in the world,” and a nuclear warhead that can defeat any anti-missile system.
Putin said the new missile and its “nuclear power energy unit” was successfully tested in late 2017.
“It can attack any target, through the North or South Pole,” Putin said. “It is a powerful weapon and no missile defense system will be able to withstand.”
Video displayed during the speech of the new weapon’s capabilities showed the projectile flying close to the ground on an unconventional flight path.
“This is unheard of and nobody else has such a system in the world,” Putin added. “They might create something like this in the future but by then our guys will have created something new as well.”
The Russian president argued that “nobody listened to us” during the weapons’ development but would “listen to us now.”
“I hope everything that has been said today will sober any potential aggressor,” Putin said.
Analysts warn that Putin’s announcement alongside the Trump administration’s vow to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal could lead to a new Cold War and arms race.
Putin’s speech also focused heavily on domestic issues as Russia prepares for its presidential election on March 18.
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