Things are already developing fast after last Friday the US timetable for saying in the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) ran out, after six months prior President Trump gave an ultimatum to Russia to cease violating its terms or the US would rip up the landmark 1987 arms control treaty. Immediately after, Washington also signaled plans to test a new ballistic missile in the coming weeks, as the AP reported upon the deal’s final collapse.
And now Putin has hit back, saying Monday Russia will be forced to develop land-based short and intermediate range missiles if the US starts doing so, according to state-run RIA. He also is reported to have decried the United States’ exit from the treating as worsening global safety.
Putin met Monday with members of Russia’s Security Council, focusing on Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the INF, TASS reports.
“In our opinion, the United States’ actions, which have led to the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, will inevitably entail devaluation, undermine the entire global security architecture, including the strategic offensive arms treaty and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” he told the council, according to a Kremlin press service statement.
“This scenario means the resumption of an unbridled arms race,” Putin emphasized.
But crucially, he also said Russia stands ready to resume full-fledged negotiations with the United States. “Russia deems it necessary to resume without any delay full-fledged negotiations on ensuring strategic stability and security,” he said. “We are ready for this.”
He explained that he’s instructed Russian defense and intelligence services to closely monitor any further US steps toward developing and placing intermediate-and shorter-range missiles.
Moscow’s consistent position has been to blame the US for collapse of the treaty, with both sides over the past couple years frequently pointing the finger at the other for violating its terms, namely a ban on all land-based missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,400 miles.
In the wake of the formal US pullout Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also laid blame on Russia in remarks, saying that NATO members “regret that Russia showed no willingness and took no steps to comply with its international obligations.”
The United States plans to test a new missile in coming weeks that would have been prohibited under a landmark, 32-year-old arms control treaty that the U.S. and Russia ripped up on Friday. — Associated Press
He pledged that the alliance will avoid “a new arms race” with Russia and prevent powers from deploying new nuclear missiles on European soil, which has long been the chief danger that the INF for decades blocked.
But one of the deal’s authors, 88-year old Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned that the world now stands on the brink of a new arms chaos.
“The termination of the treaty will hardly be beneficial for the international community, this move undermines security not only in Europe, but in the whole world,” Gorbachev told Interfax on Friday. “This US move will cause uncertainty and chaotic development of international politics,” he predicted.