Putin calls for Russia's 'symmetric response' to U.S. missile test

Donald Trump smiles with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

Donald Trump smiles with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

Putin said the test is a testament to U.S. President Donald Trump's intentions to deploy missiles across the world banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Reuters reports.

On Monday, the Pentagon had announced that the US military has conducted a test of a ground-based version of Navy Tomahawk cruise missile.

At a Russian Security Council meeting in the capital Moscow, Putin stressed the use of weapons forbidden under the defunct Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the use of the MK-41 universal launcher "fully confirms the validity of the claims that the Russian side had conveyed to the US during the period of the treaty".

Putin said the US test launch took place only 16 days after the termination of the treaty initiated by Washington, which proved that "the United States has always been engaged in the creation of weapons prohibited by the INF Treaty".

"That said, in the light of unfolding circumstances, I'm ordering the Defence Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and other appropriate agencies to analyze the threat to our country posed by USA actions, and to take exhaustive measures to prepare a reciprocal response".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday that the United States test showed that Washington was stoking a new arms race and confrontation, which would have a serious negative effect on regional and global security.

In recent years, Russian Federation has consistently voiced unease over USA missile systems, stationed in countries such as Romania, or potentially situated in countries such as Poland, being used for offensive purposes.

"Now the fact of the violation is clear, and it's useless to deny it", Putin said.

Washington has insisted the test does not signal the start of an arms race as it denied having plans to develop nuclear-tipped weapons.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said this month he was in favour of placing ground-launched intermediate-range missiles in Asia relatively soon.

This undated file photo provided September 19, 2017, by Russian Defense Ministry official web site shows a Russian Iskander-K missile launched during a military exercise at a training ground at the Luzhsky Range, near St. Petersburg, Russia.

Russian Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy blamed Washington for the failure of the US-Russian treaty and warned of the risk of a new arms race that could not be controlled or regulated.

It would have violated the INF Treaty, which was negotiated by then-US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev during the Cold War.

During the Security Council meeting, the US blamed Russian Federation for violating the INF agreement.

China was not a party to the INF treaty and has a large arsenal of land-based intermediate-range missiles.

Earlier this week the Pentagon in Washington said it had fired a missile that hit a target after more than 500 kilometers of flight.

Amid the escalation, Putin stated Russian Federation is still open to talks with the U.S. He said he wishes to restore trust between the nations and "reinforce global security".

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