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The arms race is on!

The arms race is on!

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, anyways.

From Yahoo! News:

In a clear reference to the United States, he harshly criticized “imperialism” in global affairs and warned that Russia will strengthen its military potential to maintain a global strategic balance.

“It wasn’t us who initiated a new round of arms race,” Putin said when asked about Russia’s missile tests this week at a news conference after talks in the Kremlin with Greek President Karolos Papoulias.

Putin described the tests of a new ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads and a new cruise missile as part of the Russian response to the planned deployment of new U.S. military bases and missile defense sites in ex-Soviet satellites in Central and Eastern Europe.

He assailed the United States and other NATO members for failing to ratify an amended version of the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, which limits the deployment of heavy non-nuclear weapons around the continent.

Putin described the tests of new missiles conducted by Russia on Tuesday as a necessary response to the Western action.

“There is no reason to fear these actions by Russia, they aren’t aggressive. It’s merely a response to tough and unfounded unilateral actions by our partners,” he said. “These actions are aimed at preserving a global balance.”

Why is this not bigger news? I’m interested to hear how the Bush administration will handle this.

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