putin foresees new arms race if us withdraws from treaty with russia
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Putin foresees new arms race if US withdraws from treaty with Russia

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Arab Today, arab today Putin foresees new arms race if US withdraws from treaty with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin with US President Donald Trump
Moscow - DPA

If the United States withdraws from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and builds up an arsenal of mid-range missiles, then Russia would follow suit and also make the same type of weapon, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

The US alleges that Russia violated the treaty with the development of a land-based missile, and on Tuesday said it would withdraw from the treaty in 60 days unless Russia complies with pact. Russia has denied the allegation, saying it has not tested such a missile within the banned range.

It is "in principle understandable" that the US wants to pull out of the bilateral deal with Russia as other countries are believed to have been developing such weapons, Putin told reporters in Moscow.

The Soviet-era treaty, which the US has threatened to withdraw from, bans ground-launched missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometres.

"Apparently our American partners consider that the situation has changed so much" since the treaty came into effect "that the US must have such weapons," Putin said, according to a Kremlin transcript.

"What is our side's response? It's simple. We will do the same," the Russian leader said.

Russia has previously alleged that the US violated the treaty with a NATO missile shield in Eastern Europe that Russia says could launch a nuclear missile at any time.

Russia will target any country hosting US mid-range missiles if the US withdraws from the treaty, the chief of Russia's General Staff said on Wednesday.

"If the INF Treaty is violated, we will not leave this unanswered," General Valery Gerasimov said at a briefing of foreign military attaches in Moscow.

"The countries hosting US systems with intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles will become targets for retaliatory steps by Russia," Gerasimov said in speech, a transcript of which was emailed to dpa.

The United States' threatened withdrawal from the treaty is a "very dangerous step that can negatively influence both European security and strategic stability in general," Gerasimov said.

Russia has received official notification of the US intention to withdraw from the treaty, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in comments carried by state media.

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