Feb 24, 2012 1:09 PM by Jacqui Heinrich
MOSCOW (AP) - Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is touting Russia's nuclear weapons, saying the country has enough strength that the United States should seek a more constructive approach to a dispute over European missile defense plans.
Russia has previously threatened retaliatory moves if Washington goes ahead with plans to elements of a missile-defense system in Eastern Europe. Putin, speaking Friday to a security round-table in the city of Sarov, did not mention specific actions, but was clearly challenging.
Putin claimed the United States had disdained the Russian military as deteriorating. But he countered that Russia has new ICBMs and put two nuclear submarines into service in the past three years.
Russian news agencies quote him as saying, "We have something to prompt our colleagues and partners to be more constructive, but we haven't seen this so far."