Concerned about the administration’s decision to trump to withdraw from the Treaty on arms control, signed in the cold war era, Russian President Vladimir Putin has become a regular with warnings that his country is developing a new hypersonic missile capable of speeds five times the speed of sound, and which will become “invulnerable”.
However, giving its armed forces the order to expand the launch pad and to improve the missile Arsenal, Mr. Putin also called on defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to stay within existing budget allocations for the Ministry of defence for 2019 and subsequent years.
“We should not and will not be drawn into costly for us, the arms race,” said Mr. Putin, speaking to Mr. Shoigu at a meeting with heads the Ministry of foreign Affairs and the Ministry of defense of Russia, held last weekend.
On Tuesday, February 5, Mr. Shoigu reported to the command staff that by the end of next year, Russia will develop a land-based version of hypersonic air-launched missiles, the development of which has been completed and will also create a land-based version of your Calibre cruise missiles of sea basing.
Land-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers was banned after 1987, US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the INF Treaty. However, apparently, this contract will end soon in connection with the U.S. statement on their exit from the Treaty because of the many violations on the part of Russia.
Moscow insists that it has not violated the terms of this agreement, and focuses on the fact that she immediately engaged in the development of those weapons systems, which the contract prohibits.
Plans to expand the Russian Arsenal of high-speed missiles was first announced in March last year, when Mr. Putin has threatened the West a new generation of nuclear weapons, including cruise missiles and nuclear torpedoes. Therefore, according to experts, the current statements of the Kremlin about the new missile systems are misleading.
“This is largely an attempt to put the same content in a new form, — said Hans Christensen (Hans Kristensen), Project Director at nuclear information at the Federation of American scientists. — The fact that they say they can do it immediately after the announcement of the United States, proves that they do not expect anything radically new.”
Some experts call program Mr. Putin’s bluff: it is becoming increasingly clear that, despite the technological knowledge of Russia, there are strict limits to how much the Kremlin can afford to spend.
Obviously, keeping in mind how the Soviet Union went bankrupt trying to create a counterweight to every American novelty in the field of military technology and weapons, Mr. Putin tried to maintain a balance between domestic political calculations and its costly ambitions to restore Russia’s status of a superpower equal to the United States.
Responding to a statement by Washington that the US will come out of a landmark Treaty on arms control in 1987 Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range — g-n Putin told his defence Minister that “our response will be a mirror”.
He said that since the United States suspended participation in the Treaty, “and we suspend”. Mr. Putin presented the Russian program of development of missiles just as an attempt to keep up with the plans of America.
“They have announced that they are engaged in research, R & d and experimental design works, and we will do the same thing,” he said, referring to Mr. Shoigu.
Andrew Higgins, The New York Times, USA
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