Thursday, October 18, 2007

Okay, who is NOT building a new nuclear weapon?

Russian President Vladimir Putin answered questions today from the Kremlin for over three hours in a live television, radio and internet broadcast of “The Hot Line with the President of Russia.”

AFP reports that:
“Putin told servicemen at the Plesetsk nuclear missile base that Russia would build another nuclear submarine next year and was also planning a "completely new" atomic weapon, about which he did not elaborate.”
Additionally, the AP reports that President Putin said:
"Our plans are not simply considerable, but huge. At the same time they are absolutely realistic…I have no doubts that we will accomplish them."
Putin’s remarks come on the heels of his discussions with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran in the first visit of a Russian leader to Iran since the 1940s, and of the Russian test launch of a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile.

In the context of previous Russian tit-for-tat behavior, such as withdrawal from START II immediately following the effective date of the U.S. abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 and the recent announcement that Russian participation in the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty would end on December 12 of this year following U.S. missile defense facility siting decisions in Eastern Europe, this move may create an opportunity to ask the Russians if they would consider terminating the development of this new nuclear weapon of the United States forgoes the planned Reliable Replacement Warhead.

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