News ID: 270172
Published: 1255 GMT June 14, 2020

US protests show 'deep-seated internal crises': Putin

US protests show 'deep-seated internal crises': Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday (June 14) that the US anti-racism protests were a sign of deep crises in the country, in his first comments on the situation.

"What has happened is a sign of some deep-seated internal crises," Putin said in an interview with Rossiya 1 television, asked to comment on events in the United States in the recent days.

He linked the unrest to the coronavirus pandemic, saying: "It shows there are problems. Things connected to the fight with the coronavirus have shone a spotlight on general problems," AFP reported.

The Russian television channel has posted an extract from the interview, to be broadcast in full later, billed as Putin's first interview since the start of the pandemic.

He contrasted the virus situation in the US and Russia, saying that while "we are exiting the coronavirus situation steadily with minimal losses, God willing, in the States it isn't happening that way".

Russia on Sunday confirmed 8,835 new virus cases, taking its total to 528,964, the third highest in the world, while the US has the largest number of cases by far at 2.07 million.

Putin criticized a lack of strong leadership on the virus situation in the US, saying that "the president says we need to do such-and-such but the governor somewhere tells him where to go".

"I think the problem is that group interests, party interests are put higher than the interests of the whole of society and the interests of the people."

In Russia, "I doubt anyone in the government or the regions would say 'we're not going to do what the government says, what the president says, we think it's wrong,'" Putin said of the virus strategy.


Russia’s hypersonic capabilities

Putin said Russia will soon be in a position to counter hypersonic arms deployed by other countries, adding that Moscow was ahead of the United States in developing new types of weapons.

Hypersonic glide vehicles can steer an unpredictable course and maneuver sharply as they approach impact. They also follow a much flatter and lower trajectory than ballistic missiles.

Washington and Moscow have been expanding their defense capabilities as some Cold War-era arms control agreements collapsed during worsening of ties between Russia and the West.

Last year Russia deployed its first hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles, while the Pentagon has a goal of fielding hypersonic capabilities in the early to mid-2020s.

“It’s very likely that we will have means to combat hypersonic weapons by the time the world’s leading countries have such weapons,” Putin said according to Reuters.

While Russia and the United States had broadly the same number of nuclear weapons, Putin said Moscow was ahead in advanced arms development.


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