Russia to be forced to develop nuke missiles if US does so first: Putin

TEHRAN, Aug. 06 (MNA) – Russian President Putin said Mon. that Moscow would be forced to start developing short and intermediate-range land-based nuclear missiles if the US started doing so after the termination of an arms control treaty by the US.

"In case there is trustworthy information that the US has completed the development and started production of these systems, Russia will be forced to launch a full-fledged development of similar missiles,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin press service, as quoted by TASS.

Russia will only place intermediate-and shorter-range missiles as a response to corresponding steps by the US, the president noted.

"All our actions will be of a reactive, tit-for-tat nature. This concerns the development, production and placement of intermediate-and shorter-range ground-based missiles. We will not place them in those regions until US-made intermediate-and shorter-range missiles are placed there," Putin stressed, according to TASS.

He said that Washington’s endeavors to dismantle the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty can result in an unrestrained arms race.

"In our opinion, the United States’ actions, which led to the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, will inevitably entail the weakening and undermining of the entire global security architecture, including the strategic offensive arms treaty and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.”

"This scenario means the resumption of an unrestrained arms race," Putin stressed.

The Russian president emphasized that the American side is "solely responsible" for what happened.

"Instead of a thoughtful discussion of international security issues, the United States simply crossed out many years of efforts to reduce the likelihood of a large-scale military conflict, including the use of nuclear weapons," the Russian leader said.

Putin also said that Moscow is ready to resume full-fledged negotiations with the United States on strategic stability and security.

Putin has instructed the Russian Defense Ministry, the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service to monitor the steps taken by the US to develop intermediate-and shorter-range missiles, according to TASS.

The United States formally left the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia on Friday, accusing Moscow of having violated the treaty first, which the Kremlin denies.  

The pact banned land-based missiles with a range of between 500-5,500 kilometers, reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike on short notice.

MNA/TASS

News Code 148525

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