Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened Monday that Moscow would start developing short and intermediate-range land-based nuclear missiles if the United States does so as well.
US Withdraws From 1988 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
“If Russia obtains reliable information that the United States has finished developing these systems and started to produce them, Russia will have no option other than to engage in a full-scale effort to develop similar missiles,” Putin said in a statement.
This would mean to include the X-101 and Kinzhal air-based missiles, sea-based Kalibr cruise missiles and prospective systems, including hypersonic Zircon missiles, the president explained, adding however that Russia will not abandon its unilateral obligations, and all its actions will be exclusively reciprocal.
This comes as the U.S. announced on Aug. 2 that it has abandoned the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed with Russia, claiming that Moscow refused to destroy the Novator 9M729, a cruise missile that has a range of 311 miles, which violate the agreement’s terms.
The pact banned land-based missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,400 miles (500-5,500 km), reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.
For years, the U.S. has accused Russia of violating this treaty that prohibits both countries from manufacturing, deploying or testing short-range (311-621 miles) missiles and medium-range (621-3,418 miles) missiles. However, the evidence for these accusations has not been presented.
Behind those arguments lacking evidence, other circumstances and intentions have been hidden, among which is the interest of the U.S. to control China’s military growth, as they have invited the Asian nation to "a new era" of arms control.