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Putin points to failure of West’s arms race policy

The president stresses attempts to restrain Russia have failed

MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. The West’s arms race policy and attempts to restrain Russia have failed, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly.

"Those who for the past 15 years have been fueling arms race, seeking advantages over Russia, imposing restrictions and sanctions, which are illegal from the standpoint of international law, in order to hinder our country’s development, particularly in the defense field, must hear this: all that you have been trying to prevent by this policy has happened. Attempts to restrain Russia have failed," Putin said.

He also called for understanding the new reality and making sure that his address was not "a bluff, so those who still live in the past and are incapable of looking towards the future should retire and stop rocking the boat that we all are in, called Planet Earth."

Putin stressed that Russia’s growing military capabilities were a strong guarantee of global peace "because these capabilities serve to preserve global strategic balance and will continue to do that." According to the Russian leader, this is what has been one of the most important global security factors since the end of World War II until today.

Russia will provide its partners in the West with information on new weapons that are produced within the framework of the international treaties in force, he said. 

"Anyway, we are to brief our partners on what has been said today, in line with the earlier assumed international commitments," Putin said. "Specialists from the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry will discuss these issues with them more than once, at proper time and in the necessary amounts, if, of course, our partners will wish that," the president added.

The president emphasized that all activity on strengthening Russia’s defense capability has been and is carried out within the framework of the arms control treaties in force. "We are not violating anything," the president said. "Russia’s growing military power is not a threat to anyone, we have never had plans to use these potentials for offensive, and all the more aggressive purposes," the president went on to say.

"We are not jeopardizing anyone, we are not going to attack anyone, and we have no plans to take anything from anyone at gunpoint. We have all we need," Putin added.

The West should listen to Russia’s warnings on violations of the international strategic balance and take heed of these cautions. "Why are we doing all of this and why are we saying this? We did not make a secret of it, chiefly in order to motivate our partners to negotiate," he said.

"Despite the fact that Russia remains a major nuclear power, no one wanted to talk to us on this issue. No one listened to us. Listen to us now," the head of state stressed, stimulating applause from the audience.