Thursday, 6 December 2018 01:11 WIB |
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday his country would start developing intermediate-range nuclear missiles if the United States leaves a key arms agreement and begins developing the weapons as well.
Putin told Russian news agencies that a U.S. withdrawal from the treaty would mean Washington has concluded it "has to have these weapons" and that Moscow "will do the same."
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told NATO ministers in Brussels Tuesday it will begin the six-month process of withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 60 days if Moscow does not regain compliance with the treaty.
Pompeo accused Russia of deploying "multiple battalions of the SSC-8 missiles," a land-based, intermediate-range Cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Moscow has denied deploying such weapon systems.
œIt makes no sense for the United States to remain in a treaty that constrains our ability to respond to Russia™s violations. Russia has reversed the trajectory of diminishing nuclear risk in Europe, Pompeo told reporters in Brussels.
The 1987 INF treaty, negotiated by then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, eliminated all nuclear missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, reducing the ability to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.
Source : VOA