Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council ordered "to take comprehensive measures to prepare a symmetrical response" to the test of the US cruise missile.
Commenting on the US test of the Tomahawk type missile, Putin noted that the United States made a gross violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). In his opinion, the Americans "orchestrated a propaganda campaign" around Russia's non-compliance with the provisions of the INF Treaty.
"Bearing in mind the new circumstances, I instruct the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, and other relevant Departments to analyze the level of threat posed by the mentioned actions of the United States to our country and take comprehensive measures to prepare a symmetrical response," Putin said.
He also stressed that Russia is still open to an equal and constructive dialogue with the United States to restore confidence and strengthen international security.
On August 18, the United States tested a ground-based cruise missile in California, which hit a target at more than 500 km. This is the first test of a missile of this type after the United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
Washington and NATO believe that the Russian Federation violated the INF Treaty with the 9M729 missile, capable of hitting target at a distance of more than 500 kilometers. The Russian military, in turn, argues that 9M729 cannot overcome the 500-kilometre distance limit. In December 2018, the United States threatened to withdraw from the agreement if Russia did not return to the fulfillment of its contractual obligations within 60 days. After two months, Washington suspended the U.S participation in the INF Treaty agreement.
The next day, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Moscow’s "mirror response" and instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry and the country's defense ministry to stop further attempts to initiate negotiations regarding this agreement.
The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Mikhail Gorbachev and the U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the INF Treaty in 1987. Medium and short-range missiles pose the greatest threat to the world, as they are able to reach the goal within a few minutes and do not leave the enemy a chance to prepare for the strike and repel it.