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Putin: New weapons will offer Russia reliable protection

MOSCOW (AP): Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia's new weapons have no foreign equivalents but he insists the country will not use them to threaten anyone.

Speaking during a meeting with senior military officers, Putin said that "we plan to build up our defense capability, commissioning hypersonic, laser and other new weapons systems that other countries don't have." "Yet it's not a reason to threaten anyone," he added.

The Russian leader claimed that the new weapons systems are designed exclusively to "ensure our security in view of the growing threats," and vowed to pursue arms control efforts.

Russia's relations with the West have plunged to the lowest levels since the Cold War years over the conflict in Ukraine and other disputes.

In 2018, Putin announced an array of new weapons, including a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, a hypersonic glide vehicle, a nuclear-armed underwater drone and a nuclear-powered cruise missile.

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