MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he had signed a week ago a decree on putting new ground-based strategic missile systems on combat duty.
"The United States and NATO are directly saying that their goal is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. Are they going to inspect our defense facilities, including the newest ones, as if nothing had happened? A week ago, for example, I signed a decree on putting new ground-based strategic missile systems on combat duty," he said in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on Tuesday. "They're going to stick their nose in there, too," the president continued, "Do they really think we're easily going to let them in there just like that?"
According to Putin, NATO representatives are now giving Russia an ultimatum to comply with the New START (Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms). "Russia fulfills everything unconditionally, and we (NATO countries - TASS) as we please. There is no connection between the New START issue and, let’s say, the Ukrainian conflict and other hostile actions of the West against our country. As well as there is no connection with loud statements that they want to inflict a strategic defeat on us," the Russian head of state said, "This is the utmost hypocrisy and cynicism, or the utmost of stupidity. But they cannot be called idiots. They are not stupid people after all. They want to inflict a strategic defeat on us and want to get into our nuclear facilities."