Putin orders development of new weapons in response to US

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the start of works to develop new weapons in Russia due to similar actions of the US, particularly to begin developing a land-based hypersonic missile with intermediate range.

“It (US) has announced research and development works, and we will do the same,” he said at a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“I agree with the Defense Ministry’s proposals to start the work on ‘landing’ Kalibr missiles and developing a new area to create a land-based hypersonic missile with intermediate range,” Putin noted.

According to Shoigu, apart from R&D works on production of missiles of intermediate and shorter range, Russia has witnessed real breaches of the provisions of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) by the US for some time already. “In other words, the United States has started production of those missiles,” he said.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that Washington would suspend its liabilities under the INF Treaty starting February 2 and would quit it within six months if Russia fails to comply with its demands. The US accused Russia of violating the treaty for the first time in July 2014. Since then, Washington has been repeating its claims on many occasions, while Moscow has been rejecting them and advancing counter-claims concerning the implementation of the treaty by the US side.

The INF Treaty was signed between the former Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 and entered into force on June 1, 1988. It covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers).