LONDON — You have to admire his timing. Just before Russian President Vladimir Putin left for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) annual meeting in Hanoi this month, he sent out a strong warning to the world leaders he expected to meet there.
In Moscow, Putin warned China and the United States that he was drawing on Russia’s new oil and gas wealth to expand and improve its nuclear-war capabilities. He announced that in 2007 alone he would be spending $11.2 billion on new weapons, including 17 new nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles. He added that between now and 2015 he would be spending $188 billion on new weapons.