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Putin Tells His Security Council To Prepare ‘Reciprocal Response’ to U.S. Threat To Deploy Missiles

Aug. 23, 2019 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the Russian Security Council this morning on the full implications of the U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty and the Aug. 18 U.S. cruise missile test. He said there needs to be a complete threat assessment, and preparation for a “reciprocal response.” But he left the door open for “an equal and constructive dialogue” with the United States.  His opening remarks were translated on the Kremlin website.

TASS reported that Putin pointed out that the United States’ use of the MK 41 launcher in the test confirmed what the Russians always said, but the U.S. side rejected, about the launchers installed in Romania and Poland. “The fact that stands out is that the testing of a missile with the characteristics prohibited under this Treaty took place only 16 days after the Washington’s denunciation of the Treaty,” he said. “Clearly, the test was not an improvisation but another link in the chain of long-planned measures that were taken in the past.”

Putin said that the United States, instead of addressing Russian concerns about U.S. violations of the treaty, “orchestrated a propaganda campaign claiming that Russia is in breach,” the only purpose of which was to cover U.S. actions. “All this leaves us in no doubt as to the true intentions of the United States, which is that, once the previous restrictions are removed, they will be free to deploy previously banned missiles in various regions of the world,” he said.

Putin in that context stated that Russia developed its “unique” weapons in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in 2002. “We were simply forced and even obligated to enhance the security of our nation. We are doing it now and will continue to do that in the future, there is no question about it.”

He continued: “At the same time, considering the new circumstances, I instruct the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and other competent agencies to analyze the level of threat posed to our country by the above actions of the United States, and take exhaustive measures for a reciprocal response. The Russian President concluded: “Meanwhile, Russia remains open to an equal and constructive dialogue with the United States aimed at restoring trust and strengthening international security.”

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