Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will start creating new medium-range weapons because the United States already has them, reports Interfax news agency.
"I sent a corresponding appeal to the leaders of many countries of the world, that we are not going to deploy medium-range missile systems if we have them. And now, of course, we will work on their development, because the Americans already have them," said Putin, speaking at the Council of the heads the CIS countries (former Soviet Union) in Ashgabat .
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said on February 5 that Russia will start to develop a ground-based version of the Kalibr missile system with a long-range cruise missile in 2019-2020, as well as a ground-based missile system with a long-range hypersonic missile in response to the US decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
The INF prohibited the production, testing, and deployment of intermediate-range (1,000 to 5,500 km) and shorter-range (500 to 1,000 km) land-based ballistic and cruise missiles and their launchers.
On August 2, the United States officially withdrew from the participation in the INF, accusing Russia of violating the Treaty. Washington had accused Russia because of the development of a 9M729 cruise missile for use with the Iskander-M missile system. Moscow denied the accusations and submitted the counterclaim to the United States that, according to the Russian military, American Aegis missile systems that are deployed in Europe, can be used not only for anti-missile defense but also for attack purposes.