Putin Says Russia Should Follow US and Produce Previously Banned Missile Systems

The US began developing land-based intermediate-range missile systems after leaving the INF treaty in 2019

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia should follow the US in developing missile systems that were previously banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which the US withdrew from in 2019.

The INF prohibited land-based missile systems with a range between 310 and 3,400 miles. After leaving the treaty, the US immediately began developing and testing batteries that could fire nuclear-capable Tomahawk missiles, which have a range of about 1,000 miles and are primarily used by US Navy ships and submarines.

“We need to start production of these strike systems and then, based on the actual situation, make decisions about where β€” if necessary to ensure our safety β€” to place them,” Putin said on Friday, according to The Associated Press.

The US recently deployed one of its new, previously banned missile systems for exercises in the Philippines. The missile system, known as the Typhon launcher, is concealed in a 40-foot shipping container and can fire Tomahawks and SM-6 missiles, which can hit targets up to 290 miles away, below the levels previously banned by the INF. The US has also previously deployed the Tyhpon system and the US Navy’s variant for exercises in Denmark.

“Today it is known that the United States not only produces these missile systems, but has already brought them to Europe for exercises, to Denmark. Quite recently it was announced that they are in the Philippines,” Putin said.

When the US withdrew from the INF treaty, it claimed Russia was violating the agreement byΒ developing the ground-launched 9M729 cruise missile.Β Russian officials denied the missile was a violation, saying it had a maximum range of 298 miles.

Russia also accused the US of potentially violating the INF by establishing Aegis Ashore missile defense systems in Romania and Poland. The systems use Mk-41 vertical launchers, which can fit Tomahawk missiles.

The US refused to negotiate with Russia on either issue, and the Trump administration tore up the treaty. Since it was clear the real reason the US exited the treaty was so it could deploy intermediate-range missiles near China, Russia proposed a moratorium on the deployment of INF missiles in Europe. But the US never accepted the offer.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.