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Putin promises 40 new nuclear missiles in 2015

He spoke at a military exhibition near Moscow.

By Ed Adamczyk
Putin promises 40 new nuclear missiles in 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the delivery of 40 more intercontinental ballistic missiles Monday, adding to Russia's nuclear capability. File photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

MOSCOW, June 16 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday Russia's nuclear arsenal would be would increase by 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2015.

Speaking at Army-2015 Expo, an international military trade show near Moscow, Putin said the new missiles could "overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems," adding a new long-range early-warning radar "to monitor in the western direction" was also being prepared. It was a reference to plans by NATO to permanently place troops and heavy armaments in Poland, a Russian neighbor and former Warsaw Pact country.

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In reference to apparent plans to reinforce NATO's military presence in eastern Europe, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, speaking to the RUIA news agency after Putin's address, noted, "I believe the (U.S.) statement must be looked at together with other similar statements, which have recently been numerous. A few days ago, reports started to turn up about certain missiles put in a certain location and about certain ammunition depots in Eastern European countries and the Baltic. It looks like our colleagues from NATO member states are pushing us into an arms race."

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The belligerence comes as Russia and the West are locked in tensions predicated by Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict. Western leaders insist Russia is involved in arming and supporting separatists in Ukraine, a charge Russia, despite mounting evidence, denies.

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Putin has also put increasing emphasis on Russia's nuclear arsenal instead of on a major military weakness, its conventional forces, as obsolete weapons are retired and new tanks and armaments come into use in the Russian military. The new ballistic missiles are part of a major upgrade which includes more up-to-date bombers and submarines.

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