Russia tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile that President Vladimir Putin said would give the United States and its allies pause.
Two months after Russia invaded Ukraine, this most likely increases the conflict as Russia’s forces step up their offensive in the eastern part of the country.
On Russian state television, Putin was shown watching a video of the missile launch and saying, “This unique weapon will strengthen the military potential of our armed forces, will reliably guarantee Russia’s security against external threats, and will force those who, in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country to think again.”
According to the Defense Ministry, the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Arkhangelsk. The ministry first revealed footage of the latest missile generation in 2018. A spokesman for the US Defense Department, John Kirby, says that the usual notification procedures were used before the test.
Putin has already signalled the possibility of further escalation by placing Russia’s strategic nuclear forces on high alert just days after sending troops into Ukraine. If other countries get involved in the conflict, he says there will be “consequences you have never seen.”
Arms shipments from the United States and Europe have aided Ukraine in deterring Russia’s offensive, which has shifted east following failed attempts to take Kiev. NATO also rejected the no-fly zone over Ukraine because it would have put its planes in direct conflict with Russian planes. It has also stated that it will not take part in the conflict militarily.
Sergei Lavrov did not directly answer questions about whether Russia would use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, even though he said that Moscow was against nuclear war.
Putin’s friend had said that if Finland and Sweden joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, he would use nuclear weapons in the Baltic Sea. This prompted the Russian diplomat to say what he did.
As a former president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev says that the Baltic cannot be non-nuclear. He is also a member of Russia’s Security Council.
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