Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly Wednesday. In it, he laid out the government’s work on upgrading their defense systems and his thoughts on the country’s relations with the U.S.
According to the Associated Press, The Russian Defense Ministry uploaded a video showcasing a test on a, “nuclear-powered underwater drone,” called the Poseidon. Putin said in his address that testing was successful and that later this year, the government will commission a submarine to carry the device.
Putin also mentioned that, “Russia will deploy a new hypersonic missile for its navy as part of an ongoing plan to modernize its military capabilities and efforts.” Putin claimed that the Zircon missile can fly at nine times the speed of sound at a range of 620 miles.
Putin said that they won’t be the first to place, “new intermediate-range missiles,” in Europe, but warned that the government will use their new weapons against the U.S. should it decide to do so.
“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapons that can be used not only in the areas we are directly threatened from,” Putin said. “But also in areas that contain decision-making centers for the missile systems threatening us.”
Tensions rose between the U.S. and Russia since Washington pulled out from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Russia responded by pulling out as well, and both sides pointed fingers saying the other violated regulations under the treaty.
“Many countries have developed and continue to develop these weapons,” Putin said. “But not Russia or the USA – we have limited ourselves in this respect, of our own free will. Understandably, this state of affairs raises questions. Our American partners should have just said so honestly rather than make far-fetched accusations against Russia to justify their unilateral withdrawal from the Treaty.”
The Russian president also criticized the U.S. for implementing new sanctions on them, in order to punish the nation for their attacks on Ukrainian naval vessels back in November. Putin called such policies “destructive.”
He said that Russia is willing to discuss new nuclear-control policies with the U.S. but will not be the initiators of those negotiations.
“I have already said this,” Putin said. “And I will repeat that we are ready to engage in disarmament talks, but we will not knock on a locked door anymore. We will wait until our partners are ready and become aware of the need for dialogue on this matter.”