Russia will respond in kind if the U.S. delivers missiles to Europe after withdrawing from a nuclear treaty, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference after meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Putin spoke about Washington’s decision to withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
He said the move raises questions about what Europe will do.
“If the U.S. withdraws from the INF Treaty, what are they going to do with the new missiles? If they are delivered to Europe and place them there, we will have to make a mirroring response.
“So if they [European countries] do this, they must realize that their territory is going to be under the threat of an equal counter-strike,” he said.
Putin also pointed out that the U.S. has failed to provide any evidence of violations of the INF Treaty by Russia.
The comments come after Trump’s weekend announcement that Washington would be exiting the landmark treaty, which eliminated all U.S. and Russian nuclear missiles with ranges of 310-3,420 miles (500-5,500 kilometers) and their launchers, citing alleged Russian violations of the pact.
“Russia has not adhered to the agreement,” Trump said Monday during remarks to reporters at the White House.
The treaty was signed in 1987 by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan.