06.03.2019 | Russia could ‘be forced’ to deploy missiles that cover ‘whole’ of Europe
Source - The Daily Express
Anatoly Antonov told The Moscow Times on Monday if the US were to position new missiles in the territory of allied European countries, Russia will respond by deploying their own. He said Russia is “concerned” that this eventuality is more likely now the US has withdrawn from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. Signed in 1987 by the US and USSR, the INF treaty was an arms control treaty that banned intermediate-range land-based ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.
US President Donald Trump withdrew from the treaty on February 1 this year, after accusing Russia of violating its terms.
Russian Ambassador Mr Antonov said: “We are very much concerned that after the decision of the United States to withdraw from the INF treaty, missiles could be deployed on the territory of America’s European allies."
He added: “We will be forced to deploy our missiles.
“And here you will see that the whole territory of European countries will be covered.”
He was speaking at the Henry L Stimson Centre, a Washington security think tank and reportedly displaying a map of Europe.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree formally suspending Russia’s participation in the INF treaty.
He has warned that Russian missiles could be turned to target US sites in Europe as well as “decision-making centres” in the US if their rival were to deploy more missiles in Europe.
Putin said: “We don’t want confrontation, particularly with such a global power as the US.
“I’m saying this clearly and openly. Russia will be forced to deploy weapons that can be used against the decision-making centres that are behind the missiles systems which threaten us.”
First Deputy Defence Minister Army General Valery Gerasimov warned that Trump’s withdrawal from the INF treaty could foreshadow him abandoning other arms agreements.
According to Russia’s Tass news agency, he said: “In 2002 the US unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
“Their next step after demonstratively suspending their participation in the INF treaty could be the withdrawal from the New Strategic Arms Reduction treaty.
He added that Trump’s Space Force announcement could lead to an “escalation of the military-political situation and emergence of new threats.”
He said Russia would “respond with reciprocal and asymetrical measures”