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Russia announces manufacture of new missiles

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that his country would produce missiles that were banned under a historic nuclear pact that was scrapped last month, but that Moscow would not deploy them unless the United States did so first.

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, in the Eastern Economic Forum.

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, in the Eastern Economic Forum. / Via REUTERS

Reuters | Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber y Vladimir Soldatkin

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At an economic forum in Russia, Putin said that Moscow has urged Washington to reduce the arms race among the former enemies of the Cold War, but had not received a response.

He said he was worried about the US talks about deploying missiles in Japan and South Korea, something he said would cover parts of Russian territory.

Tensions over the control of nuclear weapons have been rising after Washington formally withdrew last month from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, accusing Russia of violating it, something Moscow denies.

In August, the United States tested a conventionally configured cruise missile that reached a target more than 500 kilometers away, something that was prohibited under the INF.

"(...) Of course we will produce such missiles," Putin said at the economic forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok. He reiterated the promise that Moscow would not deploy new missiles unless Washington did it first.

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"We are not happy with the fact that the Pentagon chief said that the United States is trying to deploy them in Japan and South Korea. This saddens us and is cause for some concern," he said.

Putin said he offered in a recent telephone conversation to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, the opportunity to buy one of the hypersonic nuclear weapons that Moscow develops. He claimed that Trump rejected the offer and replied that Washington was making his own.

The Russian president said he feared that an arms race would expand into space and that Washington could develop a new space weapon.

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