Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a new range of nuclear weapons that can hit almost any point in the world without being intercepted, Reuters reported. A giant screen behind him showed video clips of the new missiles as he delivered his annual State of the Nation address.
A new intercontinental ballistic missile, a small nuclear warhead that can be attached to cruise missiles, underwater nuclear drones and a supersonic weapon were among the new weapons Putin said were either being developed or were ready. He said Russia developed the weapons in response to the United States’ decision in 2001 to pull out of an anti-ballistic missile treaty it signed with the former Soviet Union in 1972.
The president said a nuclear attack on any of Russia’s allies would be treated as an attack on Russia itself an and would be met with an immediate response. “Our response will be immediate,” he said. “Nobody should have any doubts about that.”
Putin’s address comes weeks before the presidential election, which he is likely to win again.
“I hope that everything that was said today will sober up any potential aggressor,” he said. “They [The West] have not succeeded in holding Russia back. Now they need to take account of a new reality and understand that everything I have said today is not a bluff.”
Putin also said the new weapons would render “steps to contain Russia...unjustifiably expensive and pointless”.