Russia will make missiles previously banned under INF : Putin
Iran Press TV
Thu Sep 5, 2019 02:10PM
President Vladimir Putin says Russia will develop missiles previously banned under a Cold War-era nuclear pact with the US, known as Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), but Moscow will not deploy them unless Washington does so first.
The Russian leader made the comments during a speech he delivered at an economic forum in the city of Vladivostok in Russia's Far East on Thursday.
The INF had banned all land-based missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers and included missiles carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads.
"Of course we will produce such missiles," Putin said, adding, "We are not happy about the fact that the head of the Pentagon said that the United States intends to deploy them in Japan and South Korea, this saddens us and is a cause for certain concern."
He said US claims that such deployment would 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."
According to the Kremlin, Putin said he even offered his American counterpart Donald Trump, in a recent phone call, the chance to purchase one of the hypersonic nuclear weapons Moscow is developing. Trump spurned the offer and replied that the US was making its own, the Russian president said.
Putin also said he feared that an arms race could spread into space and that the US could produce a new space weapon.
Early last month, the US formally pulled out of the 1987 INF treaty, accusing Russia of violating it; allegations Moscow strongly denied.
Later in August, Pentagon announced that it had tested a type of a ground-launched missile that was banned under the bilateral pact.
The missile, it said, was launched from a launcher on San Nicolas Island, a Navy test site off the coast of Los Angeles, and sped above the Pacific Ocean for over 500 kilometers before hitting its designated target.
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