Putin warns on threat of nuclear war

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The US withdrawal is based on the allegation that Russian Federation developed a land-based missile in violation of the treaty.

"What stops (us) starting talks on them joining the current agreement or starting to discuss parameters for a new accord?" He warned of a "nuclear catastrophe" if the USA stations new missiles in Europe. If these rockets appear in Europe, what do we do?

"For mankind this is very bad, because it will take us to a unsafe point", Putin said, expressing concern about moves to lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, including the USA decision to produce lower-yield missiles. Of course we will need to provide our own security. This trend "could lead to a global nuclear catastrophe", he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during annual news conference in Moscow Russia
Vladimir Putin says Russian rap music “should be taken over” by government

"But at the same time if something like this would happen, this might lead to the collapse of the entire civilisation, maybe our planet".

He said Russian Federation will have to ensure its security, and headed off arguments it was trying to gain unilateral advantages, saying the country was "trying to preserve the balance". But we are not striving to have an advantage, we are striving to have a proper balance, ensure our security.

Russian Federation has previously accused the U.S. of violating the treaty by installing a missile shield in Eastern Europe.

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"Rap and other modern [forms of art] are rested upon three pillars - sex, drugs and protest", Putin said.

He also addressed the recent escalation of tensions with Ukraine following a naval confrontation in the Kerch Strait and Russia's arrest of several Ukrainian sailors.

Putin showed no sign of backing down from Russia's stance on Ukraine, and accused his Ukrainian counterpart of provoking a naval stand-off with Russian Federation to boost his electoral prospects.

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Putin said the economy grew 1.7 percent over the first 10 months of the year, roughly in line with predictions, while unemployment was down.

The positive statistics follow a hard period in recent years when Russia's economy has suffered a combined blow of low oil prices and Western sanctions.

Russia's economy registered 1.5 per cent growth last year following the two-year stagnation.

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Putin called on the Russian government to "take charge" in controlling the music during a meeting of the presidential Council for Culture and Art in St. Petersburg.