A State Duma deputy has said that Russia is capable of repelling a U.S. attack, hours after the Pentagon said it could annihilate Russia with the help of submarines.
General John E. Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said at a budget hearing on Friday that Russia was unaware of the location of submarines that were “capable of destroying the country [Russia] should we choose to go down that path.” Earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin presented a video animation that appeared to show a missile attack on the U.S. Gulf Coast, while showcasing Russia’s new nuclear missile capabilities.
Russian lawmakers weighed in on the escalating war of words on Friday and accused the U.S. of using aggressive rhetoric while suggesting Russia’s military doctrine was defensive in nature.
“We do not plan on attacking anyone, but we will also repel the aggression of any enemies” Yuri Shvytkin, the deputy head of the State Duma’s defense committee, was cited as saying by the Federal News Agency.
“When it comes to the submarines that we allegedly can’t detect, I’d like to point out that the American general is engaging in wishful thinking,” Shvytkin said.
“We have the necessary capabilities to repel a possible naval attack, including from underwater. We have something with which to respond to that.”
The Duma deputy went on to say that Putin’s presentation on nuclear arms showed that Russia “wants peace.”
“Instead of saber-rattling, the U.S. must understand this and sit down for negotiations,” Shvytkin said.
“But we will not allow anyone to speak to us from a position of strength,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, a group of U.S. Senators urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to engage in a dialogue with Russia on strategic arms to reduce the likelihood of conflict.