Peresvet, new laser weapons systems, in Russia's military

Blanche Robertson
December 8, 2018

Russian Federation will develop missiles banned under a Cold War agreement if the United States exits the pact, President Vladimir Putin has warned.

"Apparently now American partners believe the situation has changed so much that the United States should also have such weapons". President Trump has threatened to rip the agreement up and issued Moscow with a 60-day ultimatum to come clean about what they say is a violation of the treaty which keeps missiles out of Europe.

"What's our response? It's simple - in that case we will also do this".

The laser is said to be able to destroy targets "within fractions of a second", but Russian Federation has been quiet about what the weapon actually does.

Speaking after the release of Nato's statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Russian Federation had 60 days to return to compliance with the treaty, after which time the US would suspend its own compliance.

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If Russia does not comply within the 60-day deadline, the USA will begin the six-month process of formally withdrawing from the INF treaty. In a statement Wednesday, Stoltenberg warned Russian Federation to cease its suspected violations of the 1987 Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces - known as the INF.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied breaking the Cold War treaty.

"The reckless expansion of NATO, the build-up of the alliance's potential on the so-called Eastern flank, the deployment of USA 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.

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. European leaders have expressed concern that any collapse of the I-N-F treaty could lead to a new, destabilizing arms race between Russian Federation and the West. The Peresvet laser systems received by the troops are stationed near places of permanent deployment, which are fitted out with the infrastructure necessary for combat duty.

His administration's move to set up a missile shield in Europe alarmed the Kremlin and was scrapped by the Obama administration in 2009.

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