Russia says it outrivals all other countries in developing cutting-edge nuclear weapons amid the United States’ efforts to magnify a recent accident, which Washington claims involved a Russian nuclear missile.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, “Our president has repeatedly said that Russian engineering in this sector significantly outstrips the level that other countries have managed to reach for the moment, and it is fairly unique,” Reuters reported.
Last year, President Vladimir Putin unveiled what Moscow has hailed as its raft of new “invincible” nuclear weapons, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile, an underwater nuclear-powered drone, and a laser weapon.
The missile, dubbed 9M730 Burevestnik (Storm Petrel) (NATO codename SSC-X-9 Skyfall) has been credited with an "unlimited range" and an ability to pierce all defensive barriers.
Washington claims that a test on a sea platform in the White Sea on August 8 that ended in failure killing at least five people and injuring three more featured the projectile. Moscow has neither confirmed nor denied whether the test was carried out on the cruise missile.
US President Donald Trump likewise suggested on Monday that the accident took place testing the missile. He seized upon the opportunity to hype up the incident, saying Washington was “learning much" from the explosion and described the blast’s aftermath as “not good!”
He also denied that American nukes came second to those of other countries, saying the United States’ non-conventional weapons were “similar, though more advanced, technology.”
Russia’s efforts at boosting its nuclear arsenal comes as Trump has pulled the US out of a landmark 1987 nuclear arms control treaty with Moscow.
Washington announced in early February that it would officially pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in six months on August 2, and it acted accordingly.
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