Russia Threatens ‘Response’ if US Begins Building New Nuclear Weapons
Decision to withdraw from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces pact draws rebuke from Russia
The Kremlin gave a heated response on Monday following the announcement of President Trump's intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces pact, with Russian officials threatening to "respond" should the U.S. began building new missiles.
Trump’s decision to leave the landmark Cold War-era treaty follows accusations from the United States that Russia violating the terms of the pact.
The original INF Treaty, which was signed by Russian President Gorbachev and US President Reagan 8 December 1987, prohibits Russia and the U.S. from building and testing ground-launched nuclear cruise missiles with a range of between 300 and 3,400 miles.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says leaving the treaty “would be a very dangerous step."
According to Fox News, Russia has denied those allegations and fired back a rebuke of the U.S. withdraw.
A more dangerous place
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the move will make the world a more dangerous place, according to Reuters.
Peskov added that Russia would be forced to act to restore the balance of military power if Washington quit the treaty.
Russia says it would work to reestablish its military might should the U.S. start making new weapons -- though critics would say the Kremlin has already begun doing so.
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton is set to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.
A dangerous step
Echoing Putin's statement, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as telling state news agency Tass that leaving the treaty “would be a very dangerous step.”
It would “cause the most serious condemnation from all members of the international community who are committed to security and stability,” he said.
The U.S. withdrawal from the treaty would mean “mankind is facing full chaos in the nuclear weapons sphere,” Konstain Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said in a Facebook post.
The decision also brought sharp criticism Sunday from Russian officials and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the treaty in 1987 with President Ronald Reagan.