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Talks on new arms deal with US look odd amid Russia’s Sarmat ICBM tests, says Rogozin

Russia possesses the most sophisticated deterrence instrument, Roscosmos chief also noted

MOSCOW, June 20. /TASS/. Negotiating a new strategic arms reduction deal with the United States looks strange amid Russia’s tests of its new state-of-the-art Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Head of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said on Monday.

"It looks strange to hear talks about the need for a new treaty with the United States on strategic nuclear arms cuts at a time when we are just testing these state-of-the-art armaments and are preparing to arm the first missile regiment in Uzhur in the Krasnoyarsk Region with Sarmats," Rogozin said in a Telegram post.

The Roscosmos chief thus backed a statement by Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev who said that an initiative on unfreezing relationships with the United States in the sphere of a nuclear arms treaty would be harmful for Russia.

Russia possesses the most sophisticated deterrence instrument, Rogozin emphasized.

"And this powerful weapon is the prime guarantee of our peaceful life, sovereignty and independent foreign policy," the Roscosmos chief stressed.

If Western countries have grown frightened of Russia’s new strategic weapon, "it is purely their fear," he pointed out.

Russia previously had to liquidate unique weapons created by Russian missile engineers and accepted for service, he recalled. "I remember perfectly well what tricks our State Duma had to use in the late 1990s to prevent the ratification of the START II Treaty, under which we were required to eliminate all strategic Voyevoda ICBMs, the backbone of our nuclear deterrence potential," Rogozin added.

Russia successfully test-launched its Sarmat ICBM for the first time from the Plesetsk spaceport in the Arkhangelsk Region in the country’s north on April 20. The launch confirmed all the ICBM’s designed characteristics at all the stages of its flight. Currently, the Uzhur missile formation in the Krasnoyarsk Region is preparing to arm its forward regiment with the state-of-the-art Sarmat ICBMs.

The Sarmat ICBM was developed at the Makeyev State Rocket Center (part of Roscosmos) and is manufactured at the Krasmash enterprise. In experts’ estimates, the RS-28 Sarmat is capable of delivering a MIRVed warhead weighing up to 10 tonnes to any location worldwide both over the North and South Poles.