Russia’s President Vladimir Putin warned the United States against deploying new missiles in Europe, threatening to retaliate in kind by targeting Western capitals with his own new weaponry.
Delivering a state of the nation address, Putin said the US abandoned a key arms control pact – the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty – to free its hands to build new missiles and tried to shift the blame for the move on Russia.
He did not say what specific new weapons Moscow could deploy, but he reported quick progress on an array of new systems presented a year ago.
While issuing a tough warning to the US, Putin also said Russia still wants friendly relations with Washington and remains open to arms control talks. The US has accused Russia of breaching the INF treaty by deploying a cruise missile that violates its limits. Moscow rejected those accusations.