“It’s far-fetched claims”: an expert on U.S. criticism of Vladimir Putin

Wednesday, February 20, Vladimir Putin delivered his annual address to the Federal Assembly. Sources of the TV channel “Rain” said that this year the message will be much more peaceful: last March, Vladimir Putin paid significant attention to the development and introduction of new types of weapons, but today the Russian leader was to speak mostly about the economy and social policy. But in his speech, the President returned to the theme of strained relations with the United States.

In the first part of the message Vladimir Putin has really proposed a series of measures to change the investment climate, combating poverty and promoting family values. However, after he was very harshly responded to the US withdrawal from the Treaty on intermediate and shorter-range missiles, and even threatened to deploy new missiles that can hit “command centers” in other countries.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapons that can be used not only in relation to those territories, which for us will be based on an explicit threat, but for those areas where there are centers of decision-making on the use of threatening us with missiles…
[applause] In their tactical and technical data, including flight time to the control centres, these weapons will quite match the threats that are directed against Russia.
Know how to do it, and implement those plans immediately as soon as the relevant threat becomes real.”

According to Vladimir Putin, the flight time of the missiles, which NATO can deploy in Europe, is only 10-12 minutes, which is a “very serious threat” to Russia. However, as said the President, setting of target missiles by the United States contrary to the INF Treaty.

Why is Vladimir Putin so sharply reacted to the US decision on withdrawal from the INF Treaty, whether the Pentagon broke the agreement and whether the tough rhetoric about the end of the full dialogue with Washington? We spoke with political analyst and military expert Alexander holzem.

Alexander Golts: still let’s be honest — the death sentence of the INF Treaty made not in Moscow but in Washington. The decision of the United States. Explanation of American leadership, it follows that the immediate reason for the release is a violation on the part of Russia, but to extend U.S. participation in the Treaty will require the participation of China, which is in principle impossible. I don’t think we should impose on Russia responsible for the withdrawal from the INF Treaty.

Today, Vladimir Putin said that the United States had first violated the INF Treaty, using the target missile medium range. They can be regarded as a breach of contract?

No. This is not so interpreted. The INF Treaty permits the use of medium-range missiles as targets. It follows from the text of the Treaty.

And launch complexes MK-41, referred to by Vladimir Putin?

Americans have not experienced these complexes. This is a purely theoretical assumption of Russia that these complexes can shoot cruise missiles.

From a military point of view, it makes no sense. The Americans on submarines and ships about six thousand cruise missiles. To add to the 42 missiles of those that deployed in Romania, has absolutely no sense. This is far-fetched claim, and I have to say that the American claim in the presence of good will it would be easy to resolve through negotiations. However, this goodwill is no one of the parties.

Why Vladimir Putin reacted so sharply?

The Americans withdraw, it’s a very unpleasant story for Russia, which is facing a strategic disaster. If in Europe there will be missiles that, according to Putin, within ten minutes you can reach the command post in the center of Russia, it eliminates the hopes of the Russian leadership for a retaliatory strike. To take such a decision in ten minutes is impossible.

And ten minutes is an exaggeration?

No, I think it is about 6-8 minutes, actually.

What is meant Vladimir Putin, speaking about adequate and mirror the response?

We must create the weapons that for the same ten minutes, you should reach Washington and the continental US. We can assume that, based on the words of Vladimir Putin, we are talking about missiles that will be deployed on submarines.

Such weapons exist or can be created in the near future, or is it a bluff?

We don’t know. As we do not know, where will the money for projects in health and education. A large part of the message was devoted to great projects, but it is unclear how it could take money. We can assume that the funds are available, and some wicked people when the budget for the year 2019 they are intentionally concealed.

It is unclear how will these miraculous weapons that equalize the balance in intermediate-range and shorter-range between Russia and the United States.

Vladimir Putin spoke about some hypersonic missile “Zircon” as one of the possible answers to such a threat. It will supposedly be able to accelerate to almost ten thousand kilometers per hour. This is the real speed for such missiles ?

If it reaches this speed, it is a great speed. But in the speech of the head of state cannot be the difference between what we can realistically achieve and what we have achieved. This applies both to projects in the social sphere and armaments.
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