Putin's Missile Statement Shows 'Who's In Charge In Russia'
Arvamus 29 Dec 2009  EWR
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RFE/RL
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said today that Russia must develop new offensive weapons systems to counter U.S. missile-defense initiatives.

RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Andrei Shary spoke with military analyst and journalist Aleksandr Golts about what the statement could mean.

RFE/RL: What kind of weapons systems are we talking about?

Aleksandr Golts: First of all, the new Bulava missile and the so-called RS-24 -- which is practically the same as the Topol-M, but with multiple-warhead capability. When we talk about offensive strategic systems in Russia, we are speaking only about nuclear weapons.

RFE/RL: The Bulava is undergoing testing and, as has been reported, not very successfully. Does this mean we aren't talking about the medium-term future?

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