(TELESUR) – Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the United States on Wednesday to resume their mutual arms-control negotiations, after describing a new missile recently tested by Washington as “a threat” that will require a response from Moscow.
The Russian government was “disappointed” to see the United States test the new weapon less than three weeks after Washington formally renounced the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), the president announced during a press conference in Helsinki with Finnish leader, Sauli Niinistö.
Under the INF, the United States and the-then Soviet Union agreed to refrain from building and deploying land-based missiles with a range of 500- 5,471 km, with the intent of making it more difficult for either country to initiate a nuclear strike on short notice.
Last Sunday, the U.S. successfully tested a ground-launched version of a Navy Tomahawk cruise missile, a test that would have been barred if the INF were still in force.
“The Americans have tested this missile too quickly after having withdrawn from the treaty,” Putin said Wednesday. “That gives us strong reason to believe that they had started work to adapt the sea-launched missile long before they began looking for excuses to opt out of the treaty.”
The test of the modified Tomahawk involved a launcher of the same type that the U.S. already deployed in Romania as part of a missile-defense network, the Russian leader said.