by Aaron Kesel, Activist Post:
Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the U.S. claim that Russia has developed a new cruise missile in violation of 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which banned land-based nuclear missiles in Europe during the Cold War. Putin added that Russia has advanced hypersonic weapons, surpassing the banned weapons by the treaty and wouldn’t need new missiles, Associated Pressreported.
“No one has hypersonic weapons yet, but we have it,” he said.
The U.S. and NATO warned earlier this month it would suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days if Russia did not return to full compliance. The U.S. claims the 9M729 cruise missile breaches the INF treaty, Activist Post reported.
This comes after Russia ran a drill flying two of its nuclear-capable strategic Tu-160 bombers over the Caribbean Sea during a 10-hour training mission, WSBTV reported.
It’s also further worth noting that Putin recently stated that the threat of nuclear war should not be underestimated as tensions have risen between NATO countries and Russia within the past few months. Putin added that U.S. withdrawal from the treaty could spur “global catastrophe” and that he hopes “common sense will prevail.”
Russia appears to be making preparations for potential war. In April earlier this year a Russian state-owned television station warned that some Americans are preparing for a coming war with Moscow, explaining to the country’s residents how to stock their bunkers with water and basic necessities in case a war breaks out.
This is visibly seen by Russia’s suggesting that it will build bases on the Caribbean and build up its existing Arctic strongholds.
“We’ll finish building infrastructure in 2019 to accommodate air defense radar units and aviation guidance points on the Sredny and Wrangel Islands, and on Cape Schmidt” in the Russian Arctic, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said according to France 24.
The report noted that NATO held its biggest military exercises since the end of the Cold War near Russia’s Arctic border with Norway earlier this year.
As for the Caribbean, in combination with the socialist nation of Venezuela which also has sanctions against it by the U.S. government, Russia plans to build a base and a military presence presumably in response to the U.S. suggesting it will pull out of the INF treaty, in La Orchila, Venezuela according to TASS.
According to military envoys, Russian authorities have made a decision (and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro did not object) to deploy strategic aircraft to one of Venezuela’s islands in the Caribbean Sea, which has a naval base and a military airfield. Ten years ago, Russian experts and Armed Forces commanders had already visited the island of La Orchila, located 200 kilometers northeast of Caracas. Venezuelan laws prohibit the setup of military bases in the country, but a temporary deployment of warplanes is possible.
“It is the right idea to include Venezuela in long-range aviation missions,” military expert Colonel Shamil Gareyev told the newspaper, adding that it was also economically reasonable. “Our strategic bombers will not only not have to return to Russia every time, but also won’t perform aerial refueling while on a patrol mission in the Americas. Our Tu-160 aircraft arrive to their base in Venezuela, conduct flights, execute their missions and are then replaced on a rotating basis. This is how it should be done,” he said.
Colonel Eduard Rodyukov, a Corresponding Member of the Academy of Military Sciences, in turn, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that “the arrival of Russia’s Tu-160 strategic bombers to Central America is kind of a signal to Trump to make him realize that abandoning nuclear disarmament treaties will have a boomerang effect.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded stating the drills were a waste of public funds in an angry rant. “Russia’s government has sent bombers halfway around the world to Venezuela,” Pompeo said on Twitter. “The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”