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Pentagon 'not surprised' by new Putin nuclear threats

03 March 2018

Analysts say claims of developments likely to be aimed at Russian voters. "We need to ensure we have a credible nuclear deterrent, and we are confident that we are prepared to defend this nation no matter what".

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday launched what appeared to be the start of a new arms race with Washington, as he boasted of a new generation of "invincible" Russian weapons developed in response to the threat posed by the United States.

Putin presented Russia's efforts as a response to actions by the United States, which last month unveiled plans to revamp its own nuclear arsenal and develop new low-yield atomic weapons.

The Trump Administration has vowed to expand USA nuclear strength, while criticising Russia's buildup.

Trump has also posted about the USA steel industry.

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Other new super weapons he listed included underwater nuclear drones, a supersonic weapon and a laser weapon.

The White House dismissed Putin's comments.

Russian Federation has been outraged by NATO's expansion into former Soviet satellite states in eastern Europe and Putin stated that Russian Federation would react to an attack on one of its allies, though he said it would only ever be defensive in nature.

"It was certainly unfortunate to have watched the video animation that depicted a nuclear attack on the United States", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a news briefing. "Listen to us now", Putin said, prompting a standing ovation from the audience of top officials, lawmakers and celebrities.

Putin unveiled the new arsenal Thursday in a state of the nation address, and showed a series of video montages of missiles crossing mountains and oceans, heading over the Atlantic before striking the USA eastern seaboard.

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The revelations came with ties between Russian Federation and the West at post-Cold War lows over the Syria and Ukraine conflicts, and accusations that Moscow interfered in the United States presidential election in 2016.

"We aren't threatening anyone, we aren't going to attack anyone, we aren't going to take anything from anyone", he said. Moscow has long threatened to find technological ways around Western missile defences that it sees as threatening and that the West denies are aimed at Russian Federation.

Putin unveiled the new hypersonic intercontinental ballistic missile-which can not be shot down by anti-missile systems-Thursday during his annual state of the union-like address to Russia's Federal Assembly in Moscow.

The Trump Administration interprets Russian statements and actions over the past several years, including its annexation of Crimea and military incursions into eastern Ukraine, as requiring a stronger U.S. nuclear deterrent.

The Administration's view is that Russian policies and actions are fraught with potential for miscalculation leading to an uncontrolled escalation of conflict in Europe.

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"Russian statements threatening to target Allies are unacceptable and counterproductive", North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in a statement.

Pentagon 'not surprised' by new Putin nuclear threats