Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia will be developing missiles, operating in ranges between 500 and 5500 kilometres, previously banned by the INF Treaty, which recently collapsed following Washington’s withdrawal from it.
At the same time, the president noted that Russia won’t be deploying these missiles first. The statement is in line with previous ones by Russia, where the country vowed not to deploy non-INF compliant missiles, unless Washington does so. Putin also noted that the US is already holding talks with Japan and South Korea to deploy such missiles and added that they could potentially pose a threat to Russia.
“As we understand this [deployment] will be made under the pretext of countering threats from North Korea, but it will also cause certain and significant problems for [Russia]. These missile systems are likely to cover a significant portion of Russian territory […] Let me remind you that we have two major military bases in this region”, Putin said.
Putin further added that Russia was correct when it suspected that the US has been testing missile systems, violating the accord, and now must respond appropriately. He pointed at American MK41 launchers, which serve as a basis for the Aegis Ashore missile defence system in Europe.
“The Americans kept assuring us that it’s not true, [MK41 can’t be used in strike capabilities] and now they’ve tested their new missile using the very MK41 launcher, meaning it has strike capabilities. I assume they tried to delude us. We’re not deluded, but we will have to respond adequately”, the president said.