Economy

Putin warns of growing threat of nuclear war

Putin warns of growing threat of nuclear war

The United States has accused Russian Federation of flouting the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Washington and Moscow during the Cold War and has said it will quit it unless Russian Federation comes back into compliance.

Putin earlier said Moscow would develop new missiles in response to US President Donald Trump's dramatic decision to drop the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

The Russian leader, who said Moscow had developed nuclear weapons which he believed gave it an edge over other countries, warned the threat of a nuclear conflict was growing as a result of the US moves. As Putin was speaking, Trump tweeted that Russia was among those countries that are "not happy about the US leaving" because they will have to fight Islamic State alone, but the Russian president didn't address that.

Speaking at his annual news conference, Putin warned that "it could lead to the destruction of civilization as a whole and maybe even our planet".

Putin on Tuesday denied his country was in violation of the agreement, but said it had developed powerful airborne and sea-based cruise missiles and could easily roll out land-based missiles if Washington walked away from the pact.

Russia-U.S. ties have sunk to their lowest levels since the Cold war times over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, among other disputes.

He added that there was also a tendency of lowering the threshold of using nuclear weapons, citing the "very dangerous" ideas of creating nuclear low-yield nuclear weapons and their tactical use, as well of developing ballistic non-nuclear missiles.

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Speaking of the United States, he went on: "Now they're is making another step and they are withdrawing from the INF treaty so what's going to come out of that".

When asked about Donald Trump's decision on Wednesday to begin withdrawing forces from Syria, Putin said he "generally" agreed with the USA president's decision that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had been defeated there. The pullout is also likely to strengthen Russia's role in Syria's future.

"It's very hard to imagine how the situation will develop (if the US quits the INF treaty)".

An increase to the retirement age this year provoked anger and rare street protests but Mr Putin said the hike was "unavoidable" when questioned on the subject. He accused his Ukrainian counterpart of provoking a naval standoff with Russian Federation to boost his electoral prospects.

President Vladimir Putin says that a Russian woman in custody in the United States who has pleaded guilty to acting as a covert agent of the Russian government hasn't carried out any government missions.

Russia's gross domestic product is set to grow by 1.8 percent this year, while industrial output has grown faster at 3%, he said.

Russia's economy registered 1.5 per cent growth last year following the two-year stagnation.

More news: Australia level series against India with 146-run victory


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