President Vladimir Putin says Russia is prepared to target American “decision-making centers” if the United States sends new missiles to Europe.
The Russian leader spoke Wednesday during his state-of-the-nation address in Moscow. He said Russia would answer any U.S. move to deploy new missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own new missiles closer to America or by deploying faster missiles.
Putin said Russia does not plan to be the first to deploy new intermediate-range nuclear missiles. But he warned of possible action against new U.S. nuclear missile deployments in Europe that would put the weapons much closer to Russia.
“They will only take 10-12 minutes to reach Moscow,” Putin said. “It’s a very serious threat to us, and we will have to respond.”
He said Russia could deploy new weapons of its own that would be designed to reach enemy targets just as quickly.
“Russia will be forced to create and deploy new types of weapons that could be used not only against the territories where a direct threat to us comes from, but also against the territories where decision-making centers directing the use of missile systems threatening us are located,” he said.
In his address, Putin also spoke about the U.S. plan to withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF. American president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty in 1987. It banned the production, testing and deployment of land-based missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.
Full article: Putin Says Russia Could Target US if New Missiles Put in Europe (Voice of America)