Thursday, 21 February, 2019

Putin's new laser to fend off missiles

Putin's new laser to fend off missiles Putin's new laser to fend off missiles
Melinda Barton | 08 December, 2018, 22:01

US President Donald Trump has previously said the country would leave the treaty because of Russian actions.

"The reckless expansion of NATO, the build-up of the alliance's potential on the so-called Eastern flank, the deployment of U.S. missile defence systems in Europe, the illegitimate sanctions under imaginary pretexts - all these things have led to a crisis of confidence in the Euro-Atlantic", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

In Brussels, EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini urged Russian Federation and the United States to save the treaty, warning that Europe did not want to become a battlefield for global powers once again, as it had been during the Cold War.

The INF was a bilateral treaty between the USA and the then Soviet Union, so it puts no restrictions on other major military actors like China.

That included the laser system, as well as an underwater nuclear-powered drone and a nuclear-powered cruise missile.

Stoltenberg said that although Russian Federation has a last chance to comply, "we must also start to prepare for a world without the treaty", which was the first to abolish a whole category of weapons.

NATO said it was now "up to Russia" to save the treaty.

"We are one step ahead our rivals", Putin added without providing any evidence.

However a comment in the Krasnaya Zvezda report that the laser's entry into service is in the "testing regime", could indicate that the weapon is still not qualified for combat and that it has been handed over to the armed forces to conduct pre-introduction tests.

"Allies have emphasised that the situation whereby the United States and other parties fully abide by the Treaty and Russian Federation does not, is not sustainable", they warned.

The US won strong backing for its position from the rest of the NATO allies, who said in a joint statement that it was "now up to Russian Federation to preserve the INF treaty".

He said Russian Federation had developed "multiple battalions of the SSC-8 missiles" and "its range makes it a direct menace to Europe".

Putin at the time warned that abandoning the treaty and failure to extend another key arms control agreement known as the New START, would unleash a new arms race and put Europe in danger.