Putin: Russia's weapons export in 2017 exceeded $15 billion

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Speaking to senior FSB officials at a meeting on March 5, Putin said that "Russia's information space must be protected from modern cyberthreats", Russian news agencies reported. "By the way, these are the figures for early 2017, and the capacity now stands at 1,025 billion tonnes", said the President.

While US missile defences are unlikely ever to be enough to counter a Russian attack, the military and the defence industry have convinced Putin "that this threat does exist and you need to throw all efforts and resources on eliminating it", said Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat and lawmaker who's now a foreign-policy analyst.

Putin called for American authorities to provide the Russian government with evidence linking the propaganda campaign to the Kremlin.

Putin blamed the USA decision in 2002 to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and develop its global defence shield for prompting Russian Federation to develop its new arsenal. The Trump administration also plans to expand its missile-defence programme to counter threats from Russian Federation and China, rather than just rogue nations such as Iran and North Korea, according to a draft strategy due for release this month, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

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USA intelligence agencies have accused Russian Federation of hacking and meddling in the 2016 presidential election, while European politicians have accused it of trying to interfere in several elections.

"Its aim is not only to remove a rival on the global arms market but also to undermine the defense capability of some states and increase their lagging behind in the military sphere", Putin said.

The spat came as relations between the powers lie frozen at levels not seen since the Cold War over the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and accusations that Moscow interfered in the USA presidential election in 2016. Moscow has also been denying allegations of trying to influence the US presidential election.

In his annual state-of-the-nation speech in Moscow, Putin said the weapons include a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a nuclear-powered underwater drone and new hypersonic missile and showed video footage the launch of a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile on big screens.

"Russia does not extradite its citizens to anyone", Putin told NBC's Megyn Kelly during an interview.

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