Putin: Russian navy can carry out ‘unpreventable strike’ if needed

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Navy has everything it needs to protect country

Saint Petersburg

President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that Russia’s navy was capable of delivering lethal strikes against underwater and aerial enemy targets during a parade of warships in the port city of Saint Petersburg.

The Russian leader’s warning comes days after military officials announced tests of advanced new weapons, some of which come from an arsenal Putin has described as “invincible.”

“The Russian navy today has everything it needs to guarantee the protection of our country and our national interests,” he said.

“We can detect underwater, surface or aerial enemies and target them if a lethal strike is necessary,” Putin said according to a broadcast on state television.

The Russian leader was speaking on the sidelines of an annual parade of military vessels, flanked by naval officers in white, and also Russia s defence minister Sergei Shoigu.

Putin said Russia had secured its place among the world’s leading naval powers, including by developing “the latest hypersonic precision weapons still unrivalled in the world”.

The United States, China, France and other major powers have announced plans to develop their own hypersonic weapons and are expected to soon catch up.

With the second-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world and a huge cache of ballistic missiles, Russia already has more than enough military capacity to deter its enemies.

The Russian navy can detect any enemy and launch an “unpreventable strike” if needed, President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday, weeks after a UK warship angered Moscow by passing the Crimea peninsula.

Putin’s words follow an incident in the Black Sea in June when Russia said it had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a British warship to chase it out of Crimea waters.

Britain rejected Russia’s account of the incident, saying it believed any shots fired were a pre-announced Russian “gunnery exercise”, and that no bombs had been dropped.– AFP/Reuters

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