Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that Russia will target the U.S. with new weapons should Washington decide to deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to Europe following the recent death of a Cold War-era arms control agreement, according to multiple reports.
He threatened to target not only the host countries where U.S. missiles might be stationed but also decision-making centers in the U.S.
Delivering his annual state of the nation address, Putin urged U.S. leaders to take Russia's weaponry into consideration when making decisions.
"It's their right to think how they want. But can they count? I expect they can. So let them count the range and speed of our weapons," he said.
During his speech, he unveiled the new Zircon missile, a hypersonic weapon able to fly at nine times the speed of sound and strike targets 620 miles away, according to the AP.
The Russian president's rhetoric, a familiar return to last year's speech, comes just a few weeks after the U.S. decided to walk away from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty over Moscow's alleged violations of the arms control pact.
Russia, accused of violating the agreement with the development of the Novator 9M729 missile, which NATO refers to as SSC-8, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
With the end of the treaty, both the U.S. and Russia threatened to develop new weapons, signaling the start of a new arms race.
Putin stressed Wednesday that Russia would not be the first to deploy ICBMs in Europe — something the INF Treaty banned — insisting that Russia does not "want confrontation, particularly with such a global power as the U.S."
He added that if Washington takes that step, Moscow "will be forced, and I want to underline this, forced to take both reciprocal and asymmetrical measures."
"We know how to do this and we will implement these plans immediately, as soon as the corresponding threats to us become a reality," he added.
During last year's state of the nation address, Putin unveiled a suite of new weapons, including the Burevestnik invincible nuclear-powered cruise missile and the Poseidon nuclear-powered underwater drone, both of which are still in testing.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military on Sunday accused a Venezuelan fighter aircraft of "aggressively" shadowing a U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries II plane over international airspace, in yet another sign of the increasing hostility between the two nations.
The encounter between the U.S. and Venezuelan planes occurred on Friday, the same day that the Trump administration announced it was sanctioning four top officials in Venezuela's military counterintelligence agency.
In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)
Joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises scheduled for next month are going ahead, a top Seoul official said Saturday, despite a threat by North Korea to boycott working-level talks with Washington and possibly restart nuclear and longer-range missile tests.
(Reuters) - A former National Security Agency contractor was sentenced in Maryland to nine years in prison on Friday for stealing huge amounts of classified material from U.S. intelligence agencies over two decades though officials never found proof he shared it with anyone.