Vladimir Putin accused the West of triggering a fresh arms race today and gave warning that Russia was now rich enough to respond with a new generation of high-tech weaponry. President Putin attacked the United States and Europe for expanding Nato close to Russia's border at a time when Moscow had closed military bases abroad. He said that Russia would stand up to the West and defend itself against US plans to establish a missile defence shield in Eastern Europe. “A new arms race has started to unfold,” Mr Putin told ministers and regional governors in a televised address. “It's not our fault, we didn't start it...funnelling multibillions of dollars into developing weapons systems.