Putin's new laser to fend off missiles

Peresvet laser system

Peresvet laser system

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is urging Russian Federation to comply with the nuclear treaty.

Putin said about a dozen countries were now producing mid-range missiles of the type banned by the INF treaty. "It makes no sense for the United States to remain in a treaty that constrains our ability to respond to Russia's violations".

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

NATO said it was now "up to Russia" to save the treaty.

The nuclear-capable Russian cruise missiles are mobile and hard to detect and can hit cities in Europe with little or no warning, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, dramatically changing the security calculus on the continent. "The Russian Armed Forces have been receiving them since 2017 under the State Armament Program", the daily said.

"We are against the destruction of this treaty".

"We are one step ahead our rivals", Putin added without providing any evidence.

If Russia does not comply within the 60-day deadline, the U.S. will begin the six-month process of formally withdrawing from the INF treaty.

The US navy is testing a laser weapons system that could go into service next spring.

A joint statement from NATO foreign ministers said: "Allies have concluded that Russian Federation has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security". 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.

He said Russian Federation had developed "multiple battalions of the SSC-8 missiles" and "its range makes it a direct menace to Europe".

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, warned that failing to negotiate a solution with Moscow "risks the start of a new missile race in Europe that will undermine European security".