Putin Warns US That Russia Will Respond to Nuclear Missile Developments

Russia vows to respond to new US missile deployments in Asia

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a statement on Monday warning that Russia would be prepared to develop its own intermediate-range nuclear missiles if the US starts doing so, following the collapse of the INF treaty last week.

Though some Russian officials were saying they don’t want a new arms race, it’s clear this is going to be an issue, as the Pentagon is openly talking about developing new missiles formally banned by the INF, and was faulting Congress for not giving them even more money to do so.

Russian Deputy FM Serey Ryabkov says that Russia also intends to respond defensively to the deployment of US missiles in Asia, something Defense Secretary Mark Esper was calling on the US to do over the weekend.

Though Esper made clear he envisions the deployments in Asia to involve INF-range missiles, it’s not clear he envisions them all being nuclear weapons. Clearly, a major influx of US nukes into Asia would provoke both Russia and China, and it’s not at all clear who would even allow the US to position such arms in their country.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.