President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of new nuclear weapons is part of a resurgent Russian assertiveness that the West is already responding to, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday, adding that he hoped to avoid an arms race. This was reported by Reuters.
Putin unveiled an array of new nuclear weapons - that he said were either ready or in development - last Thursday, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and not be intercepted.
“We are of course concerned,” Stoltenberg said during a visit to Iraq. “Because NATO does not want a new Cold War. We don’t want a new arms race.”
Putin’s speech, weeks before an election he is expected to win, was in line with a pattern of behavior whereby Russia has developed new weapons and used military force on neighboring Ukraine, Stoltenberg said.
“We’re not mirroring what Russia does - missile for missile, weapon for weapon - but we are responding because we see a more assertive Russia.”
As it was reported earlier the warnings of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the NATO allies are "unacceptable" and do not contribute to the easing of tension. This was stated by NATO spokesman Oana Lungescu. The annexation of Crimea by Russia gave NATO a new sense of purpose, but the alliance insists that its new deterrents in the Baltic states and Poland are defensive.
"As we have repeatedly stated, the alliance's missile defense has not been developed and is not directed against Russia, our system protects against ballistic missiles from beyond the Euro-Atlantic region," Lungescu added.
She explained that, in relation to Russia, NATO has a dual approach that provides for defense, containment and dialogue.
As it was reported, on March 1, Putin announced the test in Russia of a new hypersonic missile system "Sarmat". Putin stressed that "Sarmat" is able to attack targets both through the North and through the South Pole.