Putin vows ‘symmetric response’
US, Russia trade barbs at UN over ‘new arms race’
MOSCOW, Aug 23: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he has ordered the military to prepare a "symmetric response" after Washington tested a formerly banned missile.
Putin said he had ordered an analysis of "the level of threat for our country created by the actions of the US and to take comprehensive measures to prepare a symmetric response". Putin said at a government meeting that the test confirmed prior suspicions that the United States had planned to place banned weapons in Europe.
He said Moscow was against placement of the launchers in Poland in Romania as part of a missile defence system, but the US denied they could be used offensively to launch Tomahawks. "Now the fact of the violation is clear, and it's useless to deny it," Putin said. "The question is, how do we know what will be placed in Romania and Poland?" Washington's "true intentions", he said, are to "deploy formerly banned weapons in various regions of the world". But placing them in Europe as well as in Asia "touches upon our basic interests, since it is close to Russian borders".
Russia and the US traded accusations at the United Nations Thursday of risking a new arms race as China said it would play no part in any new missile deal.
The United States and Moscow ditched the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty after blaming each other for violating the accord. -AFP