“In diplomatic terms, it has an obviously offensive character, and if we were to use military language, it is obviously aggressive,” Putin said of the ‘America First’ strategy. “We must take this into account during our practical work.”
“Let’s call things by their name, concerning Europe, infrastructure being created there is offensive infrastructure,” he said.
He accused the US of violating the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty dating from 1987 which eliminated all nuclear and conventional missiles with short and intermediate range.
Moscow has said the US Patriot missile system in Poland and Romania could be tailored to shoot missiles at Russia. Washington has also accused Moscow of violating the treaty.
The Kremlin previously denounced the “imperialist character” of the US strategy, which accused Moscow of aiming to “weaken US influence in the world and divide us from our allies and partners” while calling Moscow’s nuclear arsenal an “existential threat.”
– ‘Peaceloving foreign policy’ –
Although Russia’s military budget is just a fraction of that of the Pentagon’s, Putin said it will continue developing new technology and even strive to be a leader in some areas in order to ensure its interests in the world are protected.
“Russia must be among the leading countries, and in some areas the absolute leader, when it comes to building a new-generation army,” Putin said. “This is important to ensure our sovereignty.”