Nothing To Stop New States Joining Nuclear Pact: Putin

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The annual event, the 14th of its kind, is used by Putin to burnish his leadership credentials and send messages to foreign allies and foes.

Putin has said the US presence in Syria was illegitimate, but agrees with USA military officials that the Islamic State in Syria has largely been defeated on the ground and has suffered "serious blows".

The Kremlin has said it might have to place US missile launchers in its crosshairs if they are placed in Europe, as the United States threatens to exit a key arms control treaty.

Both sides have noted that other countries remain free to develop weapons banned under the treaty, and the United States has in particular raised concerns about China with US National Security Advisor John Bolton warning Moscow that Chinese missiles have the capability to strike the Russian heartland. "We will have to ensure our security", he said.

Putin also said that Russian Federation could easily make and deploy land-based intermediate-range missiles if the United States made good on its threat to quit the treaty.

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Pointing at the United States intention to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, Treaty, Putin warned that if the USA puts intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to take countermeasures. We know how to do it.

Putin, who said Russia's own relations with Britain were deadlocked but that Moscow was interested in improving them, characterized Brexit as an example where Western democracy was starting to show cracks. "But without an answer to this question, it will be very hard for us to take any major decisions". "But in general, for humanity, this is very bad, because it brings us to a very risky point", Putin said at an annual press conference.

Putin also pointed out the Japanese government is building an alternative base for U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, now located in central Okinawa, in the Henoko district of Nago further north, despite strong opposition from local residents and Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki.

"Trump won - this is an obvious fact and no one disputes this, but they don't want to recognize the victory".

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