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Putin States U.S. Withdrawal from INF Treaty Poses Serious Risks for Everyone

Aug. 6, 2019 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a statement yesterday warning that the end of the INF Treaty increases risks for everyone in the world. The U.S. withdrawal from the treaty, he said, “under a far-fetched pretext and the dismantlement of one of the last fundamental arms control treaties, creates major complications for world affairs and brings about serious risks for everyone.” All responsibility for this, Putin went on, rests with the United States. “Instead of engaging in a meaningful discussion on international security matters, the United States opted for simply undercutting many years of efforts to reduce the probability of a large-scale armed conflict, including the use of nuclear weapons,” he said.

In this context, Putin ordered the Defense and Foreign Ministries and the Foreign Intelligence Service “to monitor in the most thorough manner future steps taken by the United States to develop, produce and deploy intermediate-range and medium-range missiles.” He said that if Russia obtains reliable information that the U.S. is developing INF range missiles, Russia will have no choice but to respond by developing similar missiles in response. In the meantime, Russia will rely on its current arsenal of sea-launched and air-launched missiles to include weapons under development, such as the Tsirkon hypersonic missile. “At the same time, Russia maintains the unilateral commitments it has assumed, and will act only when it has to respond,” Putin said. “This applies to developing, producing and deploying land-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. We will not deploy them in any given region until U.S.-made intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles are deployed there.”

At the same time, Putin reiterated that Russia remains committed to dialogue, should the U.S. decide to reciprocate. “Russia considers that it is necessary to revive without delay meaningful talks on ensuring strategic stability and security,” he said. “We are ready to engage in these efforts.”

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