Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that he is ready to aim missiles at the United States if the U.S. puts new missiles in Europe.
Putin said Russia will respond to the deployment of short or intermediate-range nuclear weapons by the United States in Europe by targeting the countries where the missiles are located. But in addition to that, he will direct his military to prepare to attack the United States directly also.
This is the strongest language used yet by the Russian President as it appears he and Donald Trump have started a new nuclear arms race. He did qualify his language, however, as he said that Russia is not looking to have military confrontations with either the United States or countries in Europe.
Putin also made clear that Russia would not be the country to take the first actions by deploying nuclear weapons as a response to the Trump administration’ decision earlier this month to drop out of the landmark INF treaty which has been in place since the 1980’s
In his remarks Putin also made clear that his decisions are firm and he advised officials in the United States to be aware of what his response will be if they decide to aim new intermediate range nuclear weapons at Russia. He said they should take into account the risks before taking any hasty actions to target Russia.
“It’s their right to think how they want. But can they count? I’m sure they can. Let them count the speed and the range of the weapons systems we are developing,” Putin told his audience of Russia’s political elite.
“Russia will be forced to create and deploy types of weapons which can be used not only in respect of those territories from which the direct threat to us originates, but also in respect of those territories where the centers of decision-making are located,” he added.
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