Russia will easily design new missiles to defend itself if US pulls out of INF – Putin

Tuesday - 18/12/2018 22:16
An Iskander ground-based missile is loaded into a launch vehicle © Sputnik / Pavel Lisitsyn
An Iskander ground-based missile is loaded into a launch vehicle © Sputnik / Pavel Lisitsyn
Russia may easily respond to the US withdrawal from the milestone INF Treaty by developing new types of land-based missiles, Vladimir Putin said, warning that Washington's decision to pull out “is one step towards an arms race.”
The Russian president reiterated that Moscow did not violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), but if Washington ditches it, Russia will be left with no choice but “to react accordingly” to defend itself. 

“As you know, we do have sea and airborne [missile] systems and there will be no difficulty to carry out research-and-development and make them land-based if needed,” Putin told a Defense Ministry conference on Tuesday.

Russia’s successes in developing sea- and air-launched missiles became a source of concern for “our partners,” prompting them to undermine the treaty. Putin had also praised Russia’s newest Kalibr cruise missiles which saw action against terrorists in Syria.

Over the past months, Washington has been repeatedly accusing Russia of violating the INF. Moscow, for its part, denied such accusations calling them unfounded.

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