Putin announces plans for developing Russia’s nuclear arsenal
Moscow, June 16 (IANS) Amidst the growing tensions with the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday announced that this year a new generation of inter-continental ballistic missiles will be added to the country’s nuclear arsenal.
“This year 40 new generation inter-continental ballistic missiles will enter duty. They are capable of penetrating the most sophisticated anti-missile defence systems,” Putin said at the opening of an international arms show here.
He added that the Russian government would be paying unflagging attention to the development of the country’s armed forces.
A new radar unit was being prepared for testing, TASS news agency cited Putin as saying.
“Within the next few months government certification testing is due of a beyond-the-horizon radar. When operational, it will control the western strategic zone,” he said.
The announcement came amidst growing tension over Russia’s role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
NATO and Western leaders have accused Russia of sending soldiers and heavy weapons to the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, which Russia has repeatedly denied.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said on Tuesday that the Ukrainian authorities were interested in the deterioration of the situation in the east of the country to preserve the sanctions pressure on Russia.
“It’s obvious that there are forces in the world and in Ukraine, which are interested in the deterioration of the situation on the ground in the run-up to major international events, including EU summits, in order to urge the international community to extend sanctions and impose new ones,” he said.
He also said that not a single Russia-NATO cooperation programme was working.