PUTIN WARNS NATO OVER U.S. MISSILES IN EU
Russian President Vladimir Putin followed up Wednesday on U.S. President Donald Trump’s declared intention to pull out of the 1987 arms control pact by warning that if the U.S. deploys the now-banned nuclear missiles in Europe, Russia would target the nations hosting them.
The European Union has described the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as a cornerstone of European security and urged Russia and the United States to uphold it. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO allies blame Russia for violating the treaty, but he does not expect them to deploy more nuclear warheads in Europe in response.
But he did not encourage the U.S., the most influential member of NATO, to stay in the treaty. He said the 29 allies were assessing “the implications of the new Russian missile for our security.”
Putin, pictured, said he hoped the U.S. did not plan to put the kind of missiles the treaty banned in Europe, if it does withdraw from the pact.
“If they are deployed in Europe, we will naturally have to respond in kind,” Putin said.