After the US recently tested a missile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that America’s latest move raised new threats to the country and will warrant a response from Moscow.
During a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, here on Wednesday, Putin said the Russian government was “disappointed” to see the US test the new weapon less than three weeks after Washington formally renounced the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Efe news reported.
“The Americans have tested this missile too quickly after having withdrawn from the treaty,” Putin said.
He also emphasised that ensuring the security of Russia is his top priority.
However, Putin reiterated his call for the resumption of arms-control discussions, as well as the pledge he made on Monday in Paris that Russia will only deploy non-INF-compliant missiles if it determines that the US has done so.
Under the INF treaty, the US and the then-Soviet Union had agreed to refrain from building and deploying land-based missiles with a range of 500-5,471 km, with the intent of making it more difficult for either country to initiate a nuclear strike on short notice.
Last Sunday, the US tested a new ground-based cruise missile which can hit a target after more than 500 kilometres of flights weeks after withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banning such systems.
US President Trump had said that he would like to see a “next-generation” arms control deal with Russia and China to cover all types of nuclear weapons, something Beijing has so far rejected.