Sunday, 22 September, 2019

We’ll develop new nuclear missiles if you do, Putin warns Trump

Putin: US quitting INF created ‘fundamental’ risks for all, paved way to ‘unrestrained’ arms race Putin: Russia Can't Be Content With US Declarations of 'Peaceloving Intentions' Following INF Exit
Patty Aguilar | 05 August, 2019, 21:24

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia will only deploy new intermediate-range missiles if the US does, following the demise of a key nuclear pact, and called for urgent arms control talks to prevent a chaotic arms race.

"In order to avoid chaos without any rules, restrictions and laws, it's necessary to weigh all the risky consequences and start a serious dialogue without any ambiguities", Putin said.

Putin has asked the ministry of defence, the foreign ministry and Russian intelligence to study United States efforts to develop and deploy new missile forces in the wake of the INF's demise, and indicated that Russia will be forced to develop and field ground-based short and intermediate-range missiles if evidence emerges that the USA side has started doing so.

"We are ready for it".

Putin said Monday that if Russian Federation receives information about U.S. development of new missiles, it "will be forced to begin the full-scale development of similar missiles".

The INF treaty was signed in 1987 by U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the then leaders of the USA and the Soviet Union, respectively.

Russian Federation won't be the first to deploy INF-banned munitions and will act only in response to potential U.S. actions, President Vladimir Putin has said, warning that the United States decision to withdraw risks an "unrestricted" arms race.

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It was now essential, he added, for Moscow and Washington to resume arms control talks to prevent what he described as an "unfettered" arms race breaking out.

The pact banned land-based missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,400 miles (500-5,500 km), reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike on short notice.

Putin issued his statement after the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty came to an end Friday with the USA announcing its intention to test and deploy weapons previously banned by the treaty.

"Right now, we don't have plans to build nuclear-tipped INF range weapons", he said.

Putin on Monday accused the U.S. of "seriously complicating the situation in the world and creating fundamental risks for all" by pulling out of the treaty. According to the president, the INF's collapse will nearly certainly lead to the "resumption of an unchecked arms race".

Washington launched a six-month withdrawal procedure for leaving the treaty in February, and Moscow followed soon after.

The US and Russian Federation own more than 90 percent of global nuclear stockpiles, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, a US think tank.

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