Friday, May 12, 2006


Russia to Develop New Nuclear Weapons, Putin Says

May 11, 2006Global Security NewswireRussian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday his nation would develop new nuclear and high-precision weapons in order to preserve a strategic balance with the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported (see GSN, April 12).Putin likened the United States to a wolf.

He appeared to address the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent comments that Russia “unfairly and improperly restricted the rights of her people” and used oil and gas reserves as “tools of intimidation of blackmail.”“As they say, ‘Comrade Wolf knows whom to swallow,’” Putin said during his annual address before parliament. “He swallows without listening to anyone. Nor does he intend to listen to anyone by all appearances.”

In the next five years, Moscow plans to “substantially increase the provision of strategic nuclear forces with long-range planes, submarines and launchers,” Putin said. “Along with the means of overcoming the systems of antimissile defense, which we already have, new types of weapons enable us to preserve what is undoubtedly one of the most important guarantees of lasting peace — namely, the strategic balance of forces.”

Russia is also preparing “unique high-precision weapons” and missiles “whose trajectory is unpredictable for the potential enemy.”The United States quickly responded to the speech, the Times reported.“We are disappointed that it did not address the concerns that many people have raised about Russia’s commitment to democracy and its use of economic pressure against its neighbors,” a White House statement said.“The U.S. continues to work together with Russia on a number of important security and economic issues, even as we raise these concerns,” it added (David Holley, Los Angeles Times, May 11).

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