For the first time in its history, Russia has been able to overtake the United States in high-tech weapons systems, President Vladimir Putin said at a plenary session of Russian Energy Week.
According to Putin, the United States is only developing hypersonic missiles with a speed of slightly more than Mach 3.
"And our systems are flying at speeds in excess of Mach 20. It's not just a hypersonic missile, it's an intercontinental missile. And they are on combat duty already in Russia," Interfax quoted Putin as saying.
According to Putin, similar systems are being developed in other countries, and this is not unusual.
"I would like to draw your attention to the fact that we, having such systems, and for the first time in history, are overtaking our main competitors - in this case the United States - in high-tech weapons systems. We do not abuse this, do not threaten anyone," Putin said.
According to Putin, the nuclear arms race resumed after the U.S. withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2003, which Moscow considered "the cornerstone of international security."
It was not just a defense, but "an attempt to gain strategic advantages by de-energizing the nuclear potential of a potential enemy," Putin explained.
Russia, Putin said, had two ways: either to create its own missile defense, which "costs a lot of money and it is not known how it will work," or to develop missiles that will overcome American defenses.
"I said we're going to do it. The answer from the American partners was as follows: our missile defense is not against you, you do what you want, we will proceed from the fact that it is not against us," Putin described the situation.
The arms race "is not on our initiative," he stressed, adding that Russia is ready to conduct a constructive dialogue on this matter.