Hawkish Putin touts nukes, attacks US
MOSCOW, Oct 18 (AFP) Oct 18, 2007
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced "grandiose" military plans, including development of a new nuclear weapon, and attacked US policies in Iraq and Iran.
Putin, who must step down at the end of his second term next year, also said he would back the ruling United Russia party in December parliamentary elections, confirming that he wants to retain major political influence.
In a phone-in broadcast live on state television, Putin told servicemen at the Plesetsk nuclear missile base that Russia would build another nuclear submarine next year and was also planning a "completely new" atomic weapon, about which he did not elaborate.
"We have grandiose plans and they are absolutely realistic," Putin said, speaking hours after the military announced the successful test firing of a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile.
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