Putin: Russia to keep upgrading weapons even as they have no analogs in world
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Putin: Russia to keep upgrading weapons even as they have no analogs in world

"You know that we prioritize equipping our army with the most modern weapons, control and communication systems. Our prospective weapons do not have any analogs in the world, at least for now, and I think that they won't for a long time," Putin said at the Grand Kremlin Palace on Friday. The Russian leader added that the achievements were the result of the country’s systematic and targeted measures as well as efforts by a large team of scientists, engineers and government officials. "Their unique achievements represent the basis for successful development of the army and the fleet in future decades, as well as for security and peace for Russia, for our successful and dynamic development," he said. Putin further noted that Russia, while being a peace-loving country, would continue to develop its defense capability for the sake of ensuring the country's security. "Russia is a peaceful country, and we conduct responsible foreign policy and strive for strengthening international stability," he said. "We will continue further strengthening the country's defense potential, developing and upgrading the Armed Forces… Ensuring the security of Russia and our citizens remains an absolute priority for us.” Putin made the remarks days after he warned the US not to deploy medium and short-range nuclear missiles in Europe, saying the measure would "dramatically exacerbate the international security situation," and create serious challenges to Russia. Putin said Moscow wanted good ties with Washington, but was ready with its defensive response if necessary. Tensions between Russia and the US escalated following Washington's recent move to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty over claims that Moscow had violated the Cold War-era arms control treaty. US President Donald Trump announced last year that Washington would withdraw from the treaty, which was signed toward the end of the Cold War in 1987 by then US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Under the treaty, both sides were banned from creating ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500 to 5,500 kilometers and led to the elimination of nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles. The pact also banned either side from deploying short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe. Washington insists that Russia's new 9M729 missile is in violation of the treaty and should be dismantled immediately. Russia rebutted the claim last month by unveiling the missile and its key specifications. Major General Mikhail Matveevsky, the Russian chief of missile and artillery troops, said the missile's maximum range is about 480 kilometers, well within what is allowed under the INF. Putin on February 2 responded to Trump's move by suspending the INF and authorizing his military forces to push ahead with the development of new missiles. However, he said that Moscow will not deploy any new missiles unless Washington does so, because Russia does not want to enter a new arms race with the US.

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