Friday, 14 December, 2018

If US builds missiles, so will we - Putin

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would no longer be bound by the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty unless Moscow withdraws a new system that has threatened to trigger an arms race Putin's new laser to fend off missiles | World
Deanna Wagner | 08 December, 2018, 22:00

His comments follow Nato's accusation on Tuesday that Russian Federation has already broken the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

"The reckless expansion of NATO, the build-up of the alliance's potential on the so-called Eastern flank, the deployment of United States missile defence systems in Europe, the illegitimate sanctions under imaginary pretexts - all these things have led to a crisis of confidence in the Euro-Atlantic", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

Earlier, Russia's President Vladimir Putin also warned that Moscow will start developing missiles now banned under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty if the U-S pulls out of the 19-87 accord.

The Russian President said: "Now it seems our American partners believe that the situation has changed so much that the United States must also have such a weapon".

Stoltenberg said that although Russian Federation has a last chance to comply, "we must also start to prepare for a world without the treaty", which was the first to abolish a whole category of weapons.

Pompeo said there was no reason why the USA "should continue to cede this crucial military advantage" to rival powers. "It makes no sense for the United States to remain in a treaty that constrains our ability to respond to Russia's violations".

Russia's General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov added that Russian Federation will retaliate against US allies hosting USA missiles in the case of confrontation - including with the use of new laser technology.

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And let's keep that the issue, not pulling all these other things, because then it feels like you're just trying to cut". The healing that needs to take place is a must.

"One of the main destructive factors complicating the global situation is how the U.S. is acting as it attempts to retain its dominant role in the world", he said in comments released by the defence ministry. America's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have pressed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give diplomacy one more chance before pulling out of the deal, fearing a new arms race could be triggered in Europe.

"This was really arms control at its best and therefore it's a really a big setback if this treaty now breaks totally down", he said.

The Trump administration has complained of Moscow's deployment of Novator 9M729 missiles, which Washington says fall under the treaty's ban on missiles that can travel distances of up to 5,500 kilometres (3,400 miles).

That included the laser system, as well as an underwater nuclear-powered drone and a nuclear-powered cruise missile.

US-Russia ties are under deep strain over a number of crises including accusations Moscow meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

Washington on Tuesday promised Russian Federation more "pain" if Moscow did not release three Ukrainian vessels and 24 sailors captured off Crimea last last month.