Russia will target European countries if they host U.S. nuclear missiles - Putin

By Olesya Astakhova and Andrew Osborn MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would be forced to target any European countries that agreed to host U.S. nuclear missiles following Washington's withdrawal from a landmark Cold war-era arms control treaty. Speaking at a news conference after holding talks with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Putin said he wanted to discuss what he called dangerous U.S

Reuters October 25, 2018 02:06:55 IST
Russia will target European countries if they host U.S. nuclear missiles - Putin

Russia will target European countries if they host US nuclear missiles  Putin

By Olesya Astakhova and Andrew Osborn

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would be forced to target any European countries that agreed to host U.S. nuclear missiles following Washington's withdrawal from a landmark Cold war-era arms control treaty.

Speaking at a news conference after holding talks with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Putin said he wanted to discuss what he called dangerous U.S. plans to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The two leaders are expected to hold talks in Paris on Nov. 11.

Russia has called Trump's decision to quit the 1987 treaty, which eliminated both countries' land-based short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles from Europe, dangerous. Trump has accused Russia of violating the treaty, something Moscow denies. It says Washington is the one violating it.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton told Putin on Tuesday that Washington would press ahead with plans to quit the pact despite objections from Russia and some European countries.

Putin told reporters on Wednesday that Russia would have to respond in kind and would do so swiftly if the United States quit the pact.

"Answering your question directly, can we respond," Putin said, when asked what Russia would do if Trump made good on his pledge to leave the treaty. "We can, and it will be very fast and very effective," he said.

"If the United States does withdraw from the INF treaty, the main question is what they will do with these (intermediate-range) missiles that will once again appear.

"If they will deliver them to Europe, naturally our response will have to mirror this, and European countries that agree to host them, if things go that far, must understand that they are putting their own territory at risk of a possible counter-strike."

LOOMING ARMS RACE

Putin said he did not understand why it was necessary to put Europe in such danger, saying it was a situation that Russia itself wanted to avoid if possible.

NATO's top official on Wednesday blamed Russia for breaching the treaty, but said he did not believe the Russian threat would lead to new deployments of U.S. missiles in Europe.

Russia has the option of deploying intermediate-range missiles in its European exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, a move that would put a swath of Europe in range.

Putin said he feared the world might be about to slip into an arms race, saying the fate of another U.S.-Russian arms control treaty - the new START pact - which governs strategic nuclear missile launchers and is due to expire in 2021, was also unclear.

"If all this is dismantled, then nothing will be left when it comes to limiting the increase in arms," said Putin. "And then the situation will be, in my view, extremely dangerous. All that will be left is an arms race."

(Writing by Polina Ivanova and Andrew Osborn; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Alison Williams)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

U.S. prepares orders blocking cotton, tomato imports from China's Xinjiang over forced labor
Business

U.S. prepares orders blocking cotton, tomato imports from China's Xinjiang over forced labor

By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have prepared orders to block imports of cotton and tomato products from western China's Xinjiang region over allegations they are produced with forced labor, although a formal announcement has been delayed. The Trump administration announcement of the actions, initially expected on Tuesday, has been put off until later this week because of "scheduling issues," a CBP spokesman said

Rebuilt after 9/11, World Trade Center threatened anew by coronavirus
Business

Rebuilt after 9/11, World Trade Center threatened anew by coronavirus

By Daniel Trotta and Gabriella Borter NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the ruins of New York's World Trade Center smoldered following the September 11 attacks of 2001, skeptics doubted it could ever rise again. Now, as the 19th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the grand vision set forth after its destruction has largely been realized

Tesla loses more than combined GM, Ford market value
Business

Tesla loses more than combined GM, Ford market value

By Subrat Patnaik (Reuters) - Tesla Inc shed about $80 billion of its market value on Tuesday, an amount that overshadows the combined value of General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co , after its surprise exclusion from the S&P 500 index. Tesla's shares recorded their worst single-day percentage drop ever and added to the broader sell-off in technology stocks, which have dominated Wall Street's recovery from the coronavirus-driven crash earlier this year. The stock closed 21.06% lower, while fellow electric automaker Nikola Corp jumped more than 40% after General Motors said it was acquiring an 11% stake in the company