MOSCOW - Russia has developed nuclear weapons that can avoid any missile defence systems and plans to bolster its arsenal with nuclear-powered cruise missiles capable to hitting any point on the globe, President Vladimir Putin claimed in his annual address to lawmakers Thursday.
Putin claimed that late last year, Russia had successfully tested a cruise missile that was propelled by a nuclear-powered engine. This engine gave the cruise missile practically unlimited range, distinguishing it from existing cruise missiles.
The missile would be able to fly close to the ground and follow an unpredictable flight path, rendering existing missile defences “useless,” Putin said. Tests of the technology “will allow the development of a complete new type of weapon - a strategic complex of nuclear arms with rockets fitted with a nuclear-propulsion engine.”
Putin said the United States had failed to take Russia’s nuclear might seriously or to adequately negotiate arms control. U.S. efforts to contain Russia, he said, had failed. “No one listened to us,” Putin said. “Listen to us now.”
He also warned that Moscow would consider any nuclear attack, of any size, on it or its allies an attack on Russia that would lead to an immediate response - adopting Cold War-style overtones that appeared to ramp up Russia’s posturing against the West and its allies. Putin did not specify any of Moscow’s allies that it would defend or cite any immediate threats.
By Anton Troianovski ·(c) 2018, The Washington Post Mar 01, 2018