Putin threatens new nuclear-capable missiles amid rising tensions

The Russian leader justified the decision by pointing to recent U.S. military exercises in Europe and Asia, particularly mentioning activities in Denmark.

Russian President Vladimir V. Putin announced on Friday that Russia would begin producing new intermediate-range nuclear-capable missiles. The declaration comes at a critical time, just days before NATO’s 75th-anniversary summit in Washington and amid major elections in Britain and France.

Putin’s announcement, made during a televised videoconference with national security officials, was carefully worded. He did not provide specific timelines for deployment but suggested that Russia would decide on where to deploy them to ensure our security, if necessary.

The Russian leader justified the decision by pointing to recent U.S. military exercises in Europe and Asia, particularly mentioning activities in Denmark.

This development significantly escalates the ongoing conflict between Russia and the West. It follows Putin’s recent visit to North Korea, which had already raised concerns among U.S. officials and Asian allies.

The announcement also highlights the deterioration of nuclear arms control agreements between the United States and Russia. In 2019, the Trump administration withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, citing Russian violations. The INF Treaty prohibited both nations from possessing land-based cruise or ballistic missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles.

Only one major nuclear arms control agreement remains between the two powers: the New START treaty, which limits intercontinental weapons and is set to expire in February 2026.

Some analysts speculate that Putin’s timing may be a response to recent U.S. actions regarding Ukraine. President Biden’s decision to allow Ukraine to use American-supplied weapons against Russian territory, albeit limited to the Kharkiv region, may have prompted this reaction from Moscow.

The international community now watches closely to see how this development will impact global security dynamics, particularly as world leaders prepare to gather for the NATO summit in Washington on July 9.

As tensions continue to rise, diplomats and defence experts are calling for renewed efforts in arms control negotiations to prevent further escalation and maintain global stability.