Russia will develop intermediate and short-range missiles, but will not deploy them unless the US does, said Russian President Vladimir Putin at a press conference after talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.
According to the TASS news agency, Putin said that Russia has not yet heard a reaction from the US or Europe. The Russian president mentioned the US’s testing of sea-based Tomahawk missiles adapted to be fired from the land. Putin also claimed that these rockets can be fired from the American anti-missile defense systems already deployed in Romania and soon to be deployed in Poland.
The Russian president is not convinced that the US will inform even its European partners of what software is used on these systems. For Russia, he added, it means that new threats have arisen which Moscow must respond to accordingly.
Putin also expressed disappointment that the US has been testing missiles that were previously prohibited by the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. He said that testing such missiles contravenes the treaty and further aggravates the security situation in the world in general and in Europe in particular.
Russia and China, fearing that the Pentagon would deploy ground-based missiles which have been prohibited for 30 years, convened a session of the UN Security Council.
After the INF Treaty was abandoned, Washington started testing intermediate and short-range ground-based missiles. The US said that the new Tomahawk cruise missile had been fired from an MK-41 launcher in defensive configuration. However, there is an MK-41 in combat configuration at the Aegis anti-missile defense system in Romania.