Putin vows to target U.S. if Washington deploys missiles in Europe

Mikhail Klimentyev  Russian Presidential Press and Information Office  TASS

Mikhail Klimentyev Russian Presidential Press and Information Office TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a business forum Delovaya Rossiya in Moscow, Russia.

He said Russian Federation wanted good ties with the United States but was ready with its defensive response if necessary.

Putin, speaking in Wednesday's state-of-the-nation address, said Moscow hopes to mend ties with the USA, adding that "we don't want confrontation, particularly with such a global power as the U.S".

Vladimir Putin has warned of "reciprocal measures" if the U.S. deploys missiles in Europe as he delivered his state of the nation address this morning.

Putin urged US officials to take into account the "range and speed of our prospective weapons" before making decisions that will threaten Russian Federation.

The pact banned either side from stationing short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe and its demise raises the prospect of a new arms race between Washington and Moscow, which denies flouting the treaty.

Russian Federation will respond to any U.S. deployment of short or intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe by targeting not only the countries where they are stationed but the United States itself, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

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Earlier this month Russian Federation and the United States suspended their participation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, mutually accusing each other of violating the deal.

"Russia will be forced to create and deploy types of weapons which can be used not only in respect of those territories from which the direct threat to us originates, but also in respect of those territories where the centres of decision-making are located".

Putin added that the other weapons, which he announced past year, including the nuclear-powered Burevestnik cruise missile and the Poseidon nuclear-powered underwater drone, have been undergoing tests successfully.

In his speech this morning Putin accused America of using "far-fetched accusations" to withdraw from the Cold War-era treaty and warned new Russian weapons will target the U.S. if it deploys missiles to Europe.

Speaking on Wednesday before lawmakers and top officials, Putin said the government will increase social payments to support young families.

"The principles should be - the more children, the less taxes", Putin said, adding that Russian Federation is going through a "difficult stage" in demography.

Putin also emphasized the need to combat poverty, saying that 19 million of Russia's approximately 147 million people live below the official poverty line, now the equivalent of around 160 dollars a month.

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