Putin threatens to develop new nuclear weapons if the US does so first

If you were wondering when the new arms race would start, we’d say right about…now.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on August 5, 2019. CREDIT: Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday said that his country would start developing new nuclear missiles if the United States began doing the same.

This is essentially what nonproliferation advocates and activists feared after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on Friday.

“If Russia obtains reliable information that the United States has finished developing these systems and started to produce them, Russia will have no option other than to engage in a full-scale effort to develop similar missiles,” said Putin in a statement, having called a meeting with his Security Council.

He called on Russia’s intelligence service, as well as foreign and defense ministers to maintain close monitoring of U.S. weapons development.

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