Russia should make previously banned missiles: Putin

  Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia June 28, 2024. (Sputnik/Vyacheslav Prokofyev/Pool via Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country should restart producing short and intermediate-range missiles that were formerly banned under a now-defunct arms agreement with the U.S.

“It seems that we need to start producing these strike systems,” Putin said in a televised meeting with his top security officials, referring to missiles with a range of between 500-5,500 kilometers (300-3,500 miles) that were controlled under a deal that was scrapped in 2019.

Washington withdrew from the deal in 2019, citing Russia’s failure to comply. The Kremlin said at the time that it would abide by a moratorium on production if the U.S. did not deploy missiles within striking distance of Russia.

In a televised address to his top security officials on Friday, Putin said the United States had started using such missiles in training exercises in Denmark.

“We need to react to this and make decisions about what we should do next in this area. It seems that we need to start producing these strike systems,” Putin said.

“And then, based on the reality of the actual situation, make decisions about where to deploy them for our security,” he said.

Several Cold War-era arms deals between the two countries, designed to limit a nuclear arms race and cool tensions at the height of superpower rivalry, have lapsed or been terminated in recent years.Russia suspended last year its participation in the New START treaty, the last nuclear weapons pact between the two sides.

The United States has supplied shorter-range missiles to Ukraine to support Kyiv in the conflict with Russia.

Last month it partially lifted a ban on Ukraine using those weapons against targets on Russian territory, drawing warnings of a potentially dangerous escalation in Moscow.

By Agence France-Presse – AFP

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