Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked the Federal Security Bureau (FSB) for securing the secrecy of developing new types of weapons.
The spat came as relations between the powers lie frozen at levels not seen since the Cold War over the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and accusations that Moscow interfered in the US presidential election in 2016. It was Kelly's second interview with the Russian leader.
A detailed, 37-page indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller alleges Russian operatives used fake social media accounts and targeted messaging to interfere in the 2016 election. "What they did specifically, I have no idea", Putin said.
"This was a signal to the West, the U.S.in particular, that Russia is ready for nuclear isolationism", said Andrei Kortunov, head of the Russian International Affairs Council, a Kremlin-established research group.
Powered by nuclear energy and launched from submarines that can hit aircraft carriers and coastal cities with conventional or nuclear warheads across intercontinental distances. "Many will push the president in this direction", he said.
While U.S. missile defenses are unlikely ever to be enough to counter a Russian attack, the military and the defense industry have convinced Putin "that this threat does exist and you need to throw all efforts and resources on eliminating it", said Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat and lawmaker who's now a foreign policy analyst.
"We have been working on them for quite a long time", he said. "Will you extradite them to the United States?" Still, "it's not important if Putin was bluffing", said Golts. However, he noted that Russia "cannot respond" if the charges "do not violate Russian laws". And the USA has extradition treaties with more than 100 countries - including Russian Federation. The Extradition Clause in the US Constitution requires states, upon demand of another state, to deliver a fugitive from justice who has committed a "treason, felony or other crime" to the state from which the fugitive has fled.
The Department of Justice is now negotiating with Russian Federation over extradition proceedings, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during a press conference the day Mueller's charges were announced.
One of Putin's longest held beliefs is that cyberwar is a way to influence the informational battlefield.