Putin: Russia Will Attack Any Country That Launches US Missiles

April FrancisOct 26, 2018

Trump sparked concern globally at the weekend by saying he wanted to jettison the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed former United States president Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader.

He said there was no evidence that the meddling materially affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, but that it did create mistrust towards Russian Federation and provide a strong lesson to the Kremlin: "Don't mess with American elections".

Before the talks, a Kremlin spokesman said the INF treaty had its weak points, but that the United States approach of talking about leaving it without proposing a replacement was risky. But he added that the 29 nations in the world's biggest military alliance are assessing "the implications of the new Russian missile for our security".

Mr Stoltenberg was speaking after US President Donald Trump said on Monday he was ready to build up the US nuclear arsenal in response to Russia's SSC-8 missile programme (known in Russian Federation as the 9M729).

Putin, speaking in Moscow, warned North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries that would host the missiles "that they would expose their territory to the threat of a possible retaliatory strike". Putin wondered why Europe should be placed in such a grave danger.

"I see no reason for that", Putin said.

"It's being discussed right now", Trump said, referring to a "Mike Bolton" currently in Moscow negotiating the talks (he was presumably referring to national security adviser John Bolton). Given the country's repeated violations, Russian Federation already seems to have been liberated from those constraints.

Putin warned the European states, which agree to deploy American missiles on their territories. They have a range banned by the treaty and are capable of hitting European targets, the Americans say.

As tensions mount over Russia's missile development, the country's defence minister warned that Moscow could be forced to respond to increased North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military activities near its western border.

Trump has said he is pulling out of the 1987 treaty because Russian Federation has been violating it since at least 2014 and because it does not apply to China, which has been developing the kind of short- and intermediate-range missiles eliminated by Russian Federation and the United States under the treaty.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was signed in 1987, mandated the elimination of short-range and intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles by both countries.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Nabokov said that the USA claim and unilateral move would be "very dangerous" and lead to a "military technical" retaliation. "It was the accusation against us that we have ostensibly violated it".

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He added that he hoped to discuss the issue with Trump in Paris when they both attend November 11 events marking 100 years since Armistice Day.

Trump's announcement can't help but underscore the impression that this President is all about tearing down things that came to pass on Barack Obama's watch. But Stoltenberg did not encourage the USA, the biggest and most influential member of NATO, to stay in the treaty.

But scrapping the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty also serves another key Trump goal: intensifying military pressure on China.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said Monday at a news conference in Tokyo that the United States' withdrawal from the treaty would be "undesirable", adding, "We hope that it will be averted". The US, under former President Barack Obama, said in 2014 that Russian Federation tested cruise missiles which violated the INF Treaty since 2008.

"I'm not sure that there needs to be this kind of escalation in Europe".

Washington's intent on relegating the agreement to the dustbin of history has drawn sharp criticism from U.S. allies in Europe, who argue that getting rid of the Gorbachev-Reagan treaty will undermine Europe's security.

Washington Post: "How China plays into Trump's decision to pull out of INF treaty with Russia" - "When President Trump announced Saturday that the United States would be pulling out of a landmark nuclear-arms agreement with Russia, he blamed Moscow for the decision".

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser is meeting with Russia's defense minister in Moscow just a few days after Trump announced that he meant to pull the United States out of a landmark nuclear weapons treaty.

But he added that such a withdrawal is necessary to adapt to a post-Cold War global environment, in which the world is not just dominated by two competing powers anymore. Russia, which shares a border with Norway, has been briefed by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on the exercises and invited to monitor them, but the move has still angered Moscow.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned that Moscow could be forced to respond to increased North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military activities near its western border. Moscow is also certain to blame the USA for the death of a treaty it claims to still honor. He warned that Moscow will have to "take retaliatory measures to neutralize possible military threats".

The Trident Juncture manoeuvres in Norway that shares a border with Russian Federation will involve around 50,000 personnel, 65 ships, 250 aircraft and 10,000 vehicles.

Information for this article was contributed by Andrew E. Kramer of The New York Times and by Lorne Cook, Vladimir Isachenkov and Geir Moulson of The Associated Press.

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