Putin Says Russia Is Willing to Negotiate for Nuclear Arms Control—If Trump Acts First
Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the United States during his state of the nation speech Wednesday, saying his country would be willing to participate in nuclear arms control talks if Washington initiates the conversation.
“We don’t want confrontation, particularly with such a global power as the U.S.,” said Putin, according to the Associated Press.
This olive branch was shrouded by Putin’s reminder for U.S. officials to take into account the “range and speed of our prospective weapons” before threatening Russia. He also called U.S. sanctions against Russia “destructive.”
The Trump administration pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty at the start of this month, arguing Russia had violated the 1987 agreement. During his speech Wednesday, Putin again spoke in Russia’s defense, saying no such violations occurred. He also stated that Russia will not deploy intermediate-range missiles in Europe unless the U.S. places such weapons there, says the AP.
Putin’s state of the nation address served as an introduction for a naval hypersonic missile, the AP reports. According to Putin, the Zircon can travel at nine times of the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).
He also announced the successful test launch of a nuclear-powered underwater drone known as Poseidon.