Putin Demands ‘Symmetrical Measures’ Taken After US Missile Testing

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MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin has called an urgent meeting with the Security Council amid the latest US missile tests.

At the urgent meeting, the president instructed the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Foreign Ministry to analyze the level of threat to Russia created by US actions.

“In addition, given the current circumstances, I instruct the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other special institutions to analyze the level of the threat posed to our country by the mentioned US actions and to take the necessary action of symmetrical response preparation.”

The most recent test was conducted by the US on August 18. It is a 500-kilometer ground-based cruise missile, which would be prohibited by the INF treaty.

The US left the INF treaty in early August and announced its departure in October. In July, Vladimir Putin also announced the suspension of Russia’s participation in the deal.

US Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy said that as a result of the US withdrawal from the INF treaty, Washington is seeking to develop hypersonic missiles with ballistic warheads.

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Ryan McCarthy, who was speaking at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington DC, commented on the US Army’s modernization and readiness efforts.

The Mid-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed between the United States and the Soviet Union, restricted the development, production, and deployment of ground missiles that ranged between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

The US Department of Defense announced Sunday that it had conducted a test of a cruise missile previously banned by the INF Treaty, which successfully reached the target after flying more than 500 kilometers.

The INF treaty ceased to be formally in force earlier this month, after October 2018 Washington announced its withdrawal from the agreement. In July 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially suspended Russia’s participation in the treaty.

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