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Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia may need to develop weapons capable of striking military command centres that pose a threat to the country, while speaking at his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow on Wednesday.
The Russian leader described the US’ planned unilateral withdrawal from the INF Treaty as the most “acute” issue facing Russian-American relations.
“The US has directly and blatantly violated the conditions of the agreement. They did this a long time ago. These launch systems are already in Romania,” he said, adding that if the US were to install further rocket launch systems in Europe “it would create a serious threat to Russia, because it would only take 10-12 minutes for some classes of these rockets to reach Moscow and this is a serious threat for us.”
“Russia will be forced to develop and deploy weapons that can be not only used against those territories that pose a direct threat to us, but against those territories where decision-making centres for the use of weapons threatening us are located,” Putin warned.
“Russia wants to have fully-fledged, equitable and friendly relations with the USA. Russia does not threaten anyone. All our actions in the security field are exclusively reactive and defensive in nature. We do not seek confrontation, furthermore, with such a global power as the USA,” the leader said.
Over 1,000 people are attending Putin’s 15th state-of-the-nation address in Moscow’s Gostiny Dvor, including members of both houses of the Russian Parliament, members of the government, as well as other officials and prominent figures, alongside 761 journalists accredited for the event.
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