Won’t let United States see missile at heart of nuclear dispute, says Russian Federation

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The Russian leader made the remarks at his annual end of the year news conference. As Putin was speaking, Trump tweeted that Russia was among those countries that are "not happy about the USA leaving" because they will have to fight Islamic State alone, but the Russian president didn't address that.

Putin also noted that the U.S. appears to show little interest in extending the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, which expires in 2021.

Washington has threatened to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), alleging that the new Russian missile, the Novator 9M729 (called SSC-8 by NATO), violates the pact, which bans either side from stationing short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe. Russian Federation insists it is complying with the deal.

He also noted that Western analysts are talking about the possibility of using low-yield nuclear weapons. This trend "could lead to a global nuclear catastrophe", he said.

The Russian leader said it remained to be seen if the USA keeps its word, noting Washington's 17-year presence in Afghanistan despite sending occasional signals of pulling out there.

"It's hard to imagine what is going to happen next if those missiles would be positioned in Europe, what are we doing to do?"

The US "has done the right thing", Putin said, reaffirming the long-held Russian argument that the US presence in Syria was illegitimate because it wasn't vetted by the UN Security Council or approved by Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

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"We had to respond [to the ABM Treaty] with creating a new type of weapon to overcome these anti-missile systems", Putin said.

Putin reaffirmed the long-held Russian argument that the USA presence in Syria is illegitimate because it hasn't been vetted by the UN Security Council or approved by Assad's government.

"I understand the position of the Prime Minister [Theresa May], she is fighting for this Brexit". "This shows a lack of respect for voters".

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a chilling warning Thursday about the rising threat of a nuclear war, putting the blame squarely on the USA, which he accused of irresponsibly pulling out of arms control treaties.

He also addressed the recent escalation of tensions with Ukraine following a naval confrontation in the Kerch Strait and Russia's arrest of several Ukrainian sailors. Full-year growth is estimated at 1.8 percent.

As he began his opening remarks, the price of oil - Russia's biggest export earner - fell, with Brent crude dropping below $55 a barrel for the first time since 2017.

"As a respectable person, I will have to do this at some point", Putin said, smiling. "Without it there will be no future for the country". One Russian newspaper report said he was in a relationship with Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast, though Putin rejected the assertion.

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