Nothing To Stop New States Joining Nuclear Pact: Putin

Putin: Nothing to stop new states joining nuclear pact with US and Russia

Putin also said that Russian Federation could easily make and deploy land-based intermediate-range missiles if the United States made good on its threat to quit the treaty. He also cited the unsafe tendency of lowering the threshold for using nuclear weapons and the idea of using ballistic missiles with conventional warheads.

Putin underscored a growing confrontation with the US over its move to pull out of a landmark 1987 arms control treaty.

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the West was trying to hold back an increasingly powerful Russian Federation, during an end-of-year press conference that took aim at sanctions and "made-up" spy scandals. Are the Americans not interested, do they not need them?

Although the Russian leader has never openly accused Washington of having some global ambitions, he still said that the ongoing contest of influence in the worldwide arena is linked to "the USA leading role in the world economy" and its enormous defense spending amounting to "more than $ 700 billion", which Washington apparently seeks to translate into some political power.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) looks over toward US President Donald Trump, as Trump speaks during their joint news conference in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.

"There is a trend of lowering the threshold" of using nuclear weapons, Putin said.

"We will have to ensure our security", he said.

"As for ruling the world, we know where the headquarters trying to do that are located, and the place isn't Moscow", he said, noting that the Pentagon's annual budget of over $700 billion dwarfs Russia's defense spending of $46 billion.

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Amid a litany of complaints over Washington's policies, Putin had one nice thing to say about the United States: He welcomed Trump's decision to withdraw the US military from Syria.

"Let them decide, it's none of our business, or otherwise they will accuse us again if anything [happens]", he said. The pullout is also likely to strengthen Russia's role in Syria's future.

He insisted that a Russian woman in US custody has not carried out any mission for the Russian government, even though she pleaded guilty earlier this month to acting as a covert agent of the government. There is only one aim: "to hold back Russia's development", he said, later lamenting that relations with Britain were at a "dead end".

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 10th BRICS Summit held in Sandton, Johannesburg. He accused his Ukrainian counterpart of provoking a naval standoff with Russian Federation to boost his electoral prospects.

David Miliband has criticised Vladimir Putin after the Russian president spoke out against a second Brexit referendum.

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. However, the Russian president cast doubt on whether or not Trump would follow through, noting how the USA has announced several withdrawals after 17 years in Afghanistan.

The positive statistics follow a hard period in recent years when Russia's economy has suffered a combined blow of low oil prices and Western sanctions, resulting in stagnation.

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

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