Russia’s President Vladimir Putin confirmed that his military conducted a hypersonic missile test last week but did so in the context of expressing caution for drawing his nation into an armed conflict.
U.S. satellite images released in November indicate that Russia has assembled more than 100,000 troops and equipment, and supplies along the Russian border with Ukraine.
Putin’s announcement came during a four-hour press conference in which he said again that Russia wants to avoid armed conflict in Ukraine. However, he demanded that other nations immediately provide assurances of their peaceful intentions.
About a Russian proposal to the U.S. earlier this month allegedly designed to reduce tensions about Ukraine, Putin said that he must be given “guarantees, and immediately.”
Putin expressed that the U.S. had responded to the Russian security proposal “positively.” He went on to say that he hoped for further negotiations in Geneva in 2022 regarding Ukraine. He said that Russia is prepared to discuss security guarantees under the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), hopefully as soon as January.
Amid the discussion of his expectations for peace negotiations, Putin confirmed that Russia had conducted a military test of a hypersonic missile as part of a new generation of high technology weapons systems.
The proliferation of hypersonic weapons testing has increased tensions as advanced nations embrace the systems as a new measuring stick for military capacity.
Last month, a previous Russian test of its “Zircon” hypersonic missile system was tested. According to Defense News, the missile was shown capable of hitting a practice target from a range of around 215 nautical miles. Last week, the latest launch took place from a Russian frigate located in the White Sea in northern Russia.
A Biden Administration official said that the U.S. intends to send a complete response to Putin’s proposal next month. The official said some Russian proposals that “we’ll never agree to,” and the Russians “probably know that on some level.”