Putin: Russia ready to work with U.S. on NF Treaty issue
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow remains ready to work with the U.S. to save the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
"If the US withdraws from the INF Treaty, what are they going to do with the new missiles? If they are delivered to Europe and place them there, we will have to make a mirroring response. So if they do this, they must realize that their territory is going to be under the threat of an equal counter-strike," he said.
"I'm not sure that there needs to be this kind of escalation in Europe. I see no reason for that, and I repeat, this is not our choice. It is not something we wish for," Sputnik cited the Russian president as saying.
The Russian leader stressed that the U.S. 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. Putin sad that such weapons are no different to intermediate range ballistic missiles in their essence.
Putin also warned that if the New START Treaty is not renewed, there will be nothing left of arms control between Moscow and Washington, given that the US has already left the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and is now talking about leaving the INF.