Putin: Russia against INF Destruction, Will React Properly!
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was against the destruction of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces [INF] Treaty, but would respond accordingly if it happens.
Putin’s comments came the day following the US announcement that it would withdraw from the treaty if Russia did not return to its implementation.
The United States decided to leave the accord long before the public announcement and used alleged violations by Russia as a pretext to do it, Putin added.
"This means that the decision has long been made, but it has been made sneakily. They thought we wouldn't notice this, but this is already in the Pentagon's budget — the creation of these missiles. But only after it they announced publicly that they were leaving. As the next step, they started to think whom they could shuffle blame onto. Well, to say 'Russia is to blame' is the easiest and the most habitual thing for an ordinary Western person. This is not true, we are against the destruction of the treaty, but if it happens, we will react accordingly", he said.
Putin agreed that many other countries still develop intermediate and short-range missiles, while Russia and the US had limited themselves under the INF treaty. At the same time, he added that if Washington believes that it should have such weapons, Moscow will follow suit.
"Now, our American partners apparently believe that the situation has changed so much that the United States should also have such weapons. What's our answer? It's simple: we will develop them, too”, he said.
He further recalled that the US had unilaterally withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty back in 2002 that was one of the key agreements in the international security.
“Nevertheless, they were not ashamed, they calmly came out of it, by the way, without any reference to anything, they just left and that's it. In fact, the same thing is happening now, but they are thinking who to blame for this, in my opinion, reckless step", he said.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team