President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will produce new missiles that were previously banned under the nuclear treaty. According to Putin, Moscow will not deploy them unless Washington makes the first move.
“We’ve said in public already that we’re not going to deploy (a cruise missile) after the Americans tested such a missile,” Putin told an economic forum Thursday.
“We will produce such missiles, of course, but we will not deploy them in the regions where no ground-based missile systems of this class manufactured by the U.S. have emerged,” he said.
Russia’s president said he wasn’t pleased regarding potential plans that the U.S. has to deploy ground-launched intermediate-range missile systems in South Korea and Japan.
“This actually makes us quite sad, and it is also a reason for certain concerns for us,” Putin said during a plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
“If they are deployed in Japan or South Korea, we understand that this is going to be done under the pretext of preventing the threat from North Korea but for us it is going to pose a significant problem, a very serious one because these missile systems are going to be able to cover a large part of the Russian territory.”
The U.S. withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia in August, after accusing it of breaking the conditions of the pact. Putin believes breaking the treaty was “counter-productive” and would “destroy the international arms control system.”
The former treaty disclosed that neither the U.S. nor Russia could produce, possess, or flight-test ground-launched, intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. Both parties in the treaty accused each other of violating the agreement before it collapsed this year.
The treaty seemed to be well gone once the U.S. tested a cruise missile in August that would have been prohibited under the treaty, which Russia described as “regrettable and provocative.” According to Putin, Moscow asked the U.S. to de-escalate an arms race butWashington had not responded.
Russia’s new weapons were talked about with the U.S. president during the Group of 20 summit in Japan in June, with questions raised on how to include these weapons in an arms agreement, Putin said Thursday at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. According to Russia’s president, he offered to sell Donald Trump Russia’s latest weapons, including hypersonic missile systems, as part of efforts to revive strategic arms talks with the U.S.
“I told Donald, ‘if you want, we’ll sell them to you and that’s how we keep everything balanced right away’,” Putin said at the plenary session. The U.S. argued that it would soon have these weapons as well, in which Putin said, “why waste money when we have already spent it and we can get something for it that doesn’t harm our security?”