Putin issues sinister warning on rising nuclear war threat

On another key worldwide issue, Putin said he is working toward a deal solving a World War II-era territorial dispute with Japan, though he cautioned that concerns over a Japan-U.S. security pact must be addressed for an agreement to happen. But for humanity in general, this is a bad thing because it leads us to a very risky place, and there's this trend to lower the threshold for actually using these weapons.

As for whether or not Russian Federation needs the USA military in Syria to facilitate that process, Putin said: "I do not think we do".

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestured during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, today.

"We are essentially witnessing the breakdown of the worldwide arms control order and (the start of) an arms race", Putin told more than 1,000 reporters.

The Russian leader pledged that Russia will continue to support Butina.

In more conciliatory language, Putin rallied to Trump's defense against his domestic opponents, warning that the Democrats' success in the midterm elections to the House of Representatives will lead to "new attacks" on the USA president.

US President Donald Trump, in October this year, had announced the US' decision to withdraw from the nuclear treaty.

David Miliband, a leading supporter of the People's Vote, a campaign calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal, said: "It is an insult to the United Kingdom that he should be lecturing us on our democratic process". The pullout is also likely to strengthen Russia's role in Syria's future. "Of course, we'll have to ensure our own security".

Her case is a vivid "part of a larger mosaic of Russian influence operations" laid out in part by special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference, former Justice Department officials David Laufman told The Washington Post last week.

He insisted that a Russian woman in US custody has not carried out any mission for the Russian government, even though she pleaded guilty earlier this month to acting as a covert agent of the government.

Putin, who was addressing more than 1,000 reporters from around the world, many of them holding up signs to attract his attention, faced a tougher task defending his domestic record. The Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 seamen when they tried to sail from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov in what United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies condemned as unjustified use of force by Russia. "Yes, we are interested", he said.

Mr 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 Russian president noted Thursday that the nation's hard currency reserves have increased from $432 billion at the start of the year to $464 billion now. Full-year growth is estimated at 1.8%.