Putin threatens 'new arms race' as he reveals Russia has tested nuclear weapons 'invulnerable to interception'

Putin claims that Russia has tested nuclear weapons that cannot be intercepted

Vladimir Putin has threatened a new arms race between Russia and the West, revealing that Moscow has tested nuclear missiles that are ‘immune to enemy interception’.

The Russian President claimed his country had access to a high-speed cruise missile, tested last autumn, which has an unlimited range and is capable of penetrating any missile defence.

In his televised state-of-the-nation speech, he also described a powerful underwater drone that is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, saying it could target both aircraft carriers and coastal regions.

Videos of the weapons were shown during the speech (RT)
Putin has raised the threat of an new arms race (RT)

Russia has also tested a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), called Sarmat, with a range and a number of warheads exceeding the capabilities of its predecessor.

Videos and animations of the new missiles were shown during the address.

In a bald show of strength, Putin claimed that threats to ‘contain Russia’ have failed.

He said: ‘I want to tell all those who have fuelled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: all what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened.

‘You have failed to contain Russia.’

Putin told the crowds that he would regard any nuclear attack on Russia’s allies as a nuclear attack on Russia itself.

‘The response would be immediate,’ he said.

President Vladimir Putin (Reuters)

His speech, thick with economic promises for his country, is seen as Putin’s initial move to set out his stall for the elections on 18 March, which he is expected to win.

He promised to halve poverty in Russia, pledging that ‘every person matters to us’.

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If Russia increases its number of nuclear warheads even by a small amount it could be in violation of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, signed in 2010 by America and Russia. It limits both countries to 1,550 each.

In December last year it was reported that Moscow was seeking to increase its arsenal to 8,000 by 2026.