Russian Defense Ministry Announces New Nuclear Tests Following Trump-Putin Summit
The Russian Defense Ministry announced this week that it has tested a slew of newly developed nuclear weapons, fulfilling a pledge made by President Vladimir Putin in March that Russia is updating its arsenal, The Moscow Times reported. The news comes just days after Putin attended a private summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland.
“New strategic armaments systems are developed to enhance defense capacity of Russia, prevent any aggression against this country and its allies,” the Ministry said in a statement on Facebook.
The new weapons include a ” Peresvet high-powered laser weapons system” and a cruise missile which the Russian government boasts has an “unlimited range,” according to the Russian news agency Tass.
The hypersonic Kinzhal missiles have a range of 1,800 miles and are “invincible to all the existing and advanced air and missile defense systems,” Russian officials said.
“The program of the system’s pop-up tests has been completed with the positive results,” the Ministry said, “which makes it possible to switch to preparations for the flight trials of the Sarmat missile complex.”
“All the measures that have been carried out allow for making a clear conclusion that the Sarmat missile system will be created and placed on combat duty within the scheduled timeframe,” the Ministry added.
Russia also tested the Poseidon underwater nuclear drone, Tass reported on Thursday. One defense ministry official said the drone will be capable of carrying a two megaton nuclear warhead designed to “destroy enemy naval bases.”
“As its main advantage, the Poseidon is actually 100% invulnerable to enemy counter-measures. The drone’s unique capabilities will enable the Russian Navy to fight carrier-led and surface action groups of a potential enemy in any areas of the oceanic theater of operations and strike coastal infrastructure facilities at an intercontinental distance,” the ministry said.
Both Trump and Putin have said they discussed the future of nuclear treaties between the United States and Russia, though the specifics of their conversation remain known only to them. Translators were the only other people permitted to attend their one-on-one meeting on Monday.
On Monday, Putin said he told Trump Russia is committed to extending the New START treaty which is set to expire in 2021.
“I reassured President Trump that Russia stands ready to extend this treaty, to prolong it, but we have to agree on the specifics at first because we have some questions to our American partners,” Putin told Chris Wallace in an interview on Fox News. “We think that they are not fully compliant with the treaty, but this is for experts to decide.”