As the U.S.-Russian arms control treaty comes to a close, Russian President Vladimir Putin made threatened the U.S. should it deploy short or intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe.
Putin claimed that Russia would not be the first to start a confrontation by deploying missiles once restricted by the treaty. However he boldly declared that if the U.S. deploys weapons in Europe, Russia would not only target the countries where the weapons are stationed but the United States as well.
Putin suggested that U.S. lawmakers consider the consequences before inciting such drastic action.
“It’s their right to think how they want. But can they count? I’m sure they can. Let them count the speed and the range of the weapons systems we are developing,” Putin told Russia’s enthusiastically receptive political elite.
“Russia will be forced to create and deploy types of weapons which can be used not only in respect of those territories from which the direct threat to us originates, but also in respect of those territories where the centers of decision-making are located,” he added.