Tags: Russia | Trump Administration | arms race | nuclear weapons | vladimir putin | icbm

Putin Tells NBC: 'Arms Race' Began When US Left ICBM Treaty

(NBC News)

By    |   Thursday, 01 March 2018 09:11 PM

Vladimir Putin says an arms race between Russia and the United States appears to be underway — and blames Washington for starting it.

In a clip released Thursday night from the exclusive interview of the Russian president by NBC's Megyn Kelly in Moscow, Putin was pressed on his unveiling Thursday of "unstoppable" nuclear-capable weapons.

"Are we in a new arms race right now?" Kelly asked, noting analysts believe Russia's nuclear buildup is "the declaration of a new Cold War."

"My point of view is the individuals who said that a new Cold War has started are not really analysts," Putin replied. "They do propaganda."

But he suggested we might already be in an arms race.

"If you were to speak about arms race, then an arms race began at exactly the time and moment when the U.S. opted out of the anti-ballistic missile treaty," he said.

President George W. Bush announced the United States' withdrawal from a landmark 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in December 2001.

Kelly also pressed Putin on his use of animations instead of actual videos to unveil missile launches, asking if that was to mask that the launches actually failed.

"As a matter of fact, every single weapons system discussed [Thursday] easily surpasses and avoids an anti-missile defense system," Putin declared.

"But you've tested it?" she asked.

"The test was excellent," Putin declared. "Some of them still have to be fine tuned and worked on. Others are already available to the troops and already are battle ready."

"For the record, right now, do you have a workable ICBM that's powered by nukes that you tested successfully?" she countered.

"All of those tests were successful," Putin replied. "It's just each of these weapons systems is at a stage of readiness. One of them's already on combat duty. It's with troops."

More segments of Kelly's interview with Putin are expected in the coming days.

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An arms race between Russia and the United States appears to be underway, Vladimir Putin told NBC's Megyn Kelly, adding blame on Washington for starting it.
arms race, nuclear weapons, vladimir putin, icbm
Thursday, 01 March 2018 09:11 PM
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