Russia is leading the world in terms of its weaponry, the country’s president Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday during his annual state of the nation address, but added that the country is not a threat to peace, CNBC reports.
“Russia’s open to improving relations and collaborations with all the partners, we are not a threat to anyone, we don’t want to impose our point of view on anyone,” Putin said, according to a translation, in front of leaders of the country’s political, economic and religious institutions,” Putin said.
“Our steps to improve our defense capability were done in a timely manner and I would like to emphasize that for the first time in the history of missile weapons, including the Soviet period, we are not trying to catch up with everyone. It’s the other way around, the other leading powers are yet to create the weapons that Russia already has,” he claimed.
“The defense capability of the country is provided for decades in the future. But we can’t become lazy, we have to analyze what’s going on in the world,” he told around 1,300 delegates and 900 Russian and foreign journalists at Moscow’s Manege Central Exhibition Hall on Wednesday.
In December 2019, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared a new hypersonic weapon, which is said to be capable of striking the United States, ready for war. The minister said in a conference call with Russian military leaders that the first missile unit equipped with the “Avangard” hypersonic glide vehicle had entered combat duty. Avangard can reportedly travel at least five times the speed of sound, or about one mile per second.
The superiority of Russia’s new weapon was acknowledged by U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who commented that the U.S. is “trying to catch up” with Moscow on the matter and that the Pentagon is “investing every dollar it can” in order to gain an advance in hypersonic weapons.