Putin: New missile renders defenses useless

Putin: New missile renders defenses useless

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that his country has developed a new nuclear weapon that makes defense systems "useless," according to multiple reports.

Putin told lawmakers and political elites in his annual address that the intercontinental ballistic missile is capable of reaching nearly any target in the world, NBC News reported.

"I want to tell all those who have fueled 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 ... you have failed to contain Russia," he said.

He said the new missile is "powerful and modern and defense systems will not be able to withstand it."

"Missile defenses will be useless against it," he said.

Putin also claimed the West has ignored Russia.

"Nobody listened to us. Well listen to us now," he said.

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Putin during the address discussed other weapons Moscow has created, including the Avangard, an intercontinental hypersonic missile.

He said Russia is not going to be "an aggressor," but noted that Russia'a strong military is a "guarantor of peace on our planet."

"Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies … any kind of attack … will be regarded as a nuclear attack against Russia and in response we will take action instantaneously no matter what the consequences are," he said.

"Nobody should have any doubt about that."

He also specifically commented on the U.S., saying its nuclear strategy policies have "raised concerns in Russia."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller MORE during his State of the Union address in January pledged to "modernize and rebuild" the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

“As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and so powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression by any other nation or anyone else,” he said at the time.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration waived sanctions on Russia, telling Congress that bipartisan legislation passed last year authorizing new sanctions on Russia was already "serving as a deterrent."

The administration said there was no need to actually implement the penalties.

A spokesperson for the State Department said the mere possibility of facing sanctions through the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act has served as an effective countermeasure.

Updated at 7:55 a.m.