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Kremlin says Russia not interested in ‘arms race’

MOSCOW (AFP) – The Kremlin denied Friday Russia was violating any arms control agreements and said it did not want to be part of an arms race, after Putin talked up a new arsenal of cutting-edge weapons.

“We categorically reject any accusations that Russia is violating any provisions and articles of international law on disarmament and arms control,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“Russia is not going to be pulled into any arms race.”

Putin stunned the West — and many in Russia — on Thursday by using his state of the nation address to unveil a new arsenal of “invincible” hypersonic weapons and submarines three weeks before an election is expected to extend his rule until 2024.

Nearly half of Putin s almost two-hour speech was dedicated to the country s latest weaponry and was accompanied by video montages of missiles heading over the Atlantic.

Washington immediately accused Moscow of breaching Cold War-era arms treaties, with a State Department spokeswoman saying it was “unfortunate” to have watched a video animation that depicted a nuclear attack on the United States.

Putin also told NBC in an interview later Thursday that an arms race effectively started again when Washington pulled out of the Soviet-era Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty under George W. Bush.


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