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NATO Chief: West Responding to Putin's ‘More Assertive Russia’

10:25, Tuesday, 06 March, 2018
NATO Chief: West Responding to Putin's ‘More Assertive Russia’

President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of new nuclear weapons is part of a resurgent Russian assertiveness that the West is already responding to, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday, adding that he hoped to avoid an arms race.

Putin unveiled an array of new nuclear weapons — that he said were either ready or in development — last Thursday, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and not be intercepted.

“We are of course concerned,” Stoltenberg said during a visit to Iraq. “Because NATO does not want a new Cold War. We don't want a new arms race.”

Putin's speech, weeks before an election he is expected to win, was in line with a pattern of behavior whereby Russia has developed new weapons and used military force on neighboring Ukraine, Stoltenberg said.

“This pattern which we have seen over some years is part of why NATO now is adapting and implementing the strongest reinforcement to our collective defense since the Cold War,” he said.

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