President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday of a new arms race if America pulls out of weapons treaties, and said Russian Federation would respond "in kind" to any new U.S. missiles placed on European soil.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with US National Security Adviser John Bolton, after the Kremlin said President Donald Trump's talk of quitting a decades-old Cold War-era nuclear arms control treaty was unsafe.
China is not a signatory to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which the United States signed with the then-Soviet Union in the 1980s, but Trump said Monday that Beijing should be included in the accord.
Trump's withdrawal announcement is causing particular concern in Europe which was the main beneficiary of the INF treaty as a result of the removal of Pershing and usa cruise missiles from Europe and of Soviet SS-20 missiles from the European part of the then Soviet Union.
Bolton avoided directly answering questions from press about whether "we'll soon be seeing USA missiles in Europe", saying only that the single country constrained by the INF treaty was the United States.
The Russian leader stressed that the US has already violated the INF Treaty by placing the Aegis system in Romania, since such systems could be easily be used to launch offensive missiles.
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"Now we have to warn Washington in a most serious manner: if the USA side destroys the treaty, Russian Federation will have to react", she said.
"An impression is being formed that the United States desperately attempts to restrain historical processes which are not under its control and tries to secure dominant positions for itself in various spheres including military", she said.
Putin also pointed out that the US has failed to provide any evidence of violations of the INF Treaty by Russian Federation.
"During the consultations by the US Presidential adviser on national security, Bolton, with the representatives of our foreign policy and military-political team, a preliminary agreement was reached on the possibility of holding a meeting between the two presidents in Paris at the events commemorating the centenary of the First World War, Ushakov told reporters, according to TASS". Under Trump, the momentum all seems to be toward ending these treaties and letting the stalled nuclear arms race get going again.
At the start of October, Mattis put Russian Federation on notice that its continued alleged violation of the arms treaty would not be ignored. And Germany has advised against the scrapping of the treaty, saying it will be placed in a tough spot by the USA abandonment.
INF stands for Intermediate Nuclear Forces.
Mr Putin said any European countries hosting United States missiles would be at risk of Russian strikes.
"But Trump also hinted that another country played a role, one that it isn't even party to the treaty: China".
As for the INF Treaty, Bolton says the USA intention to withdraw remains just that - an intention. But Bolton told reporters afterwards Russian missiles were a threat and signaled Washington would ignore Russian objections to its exit plans.